I keep checking the websites of the three schools I can to see if I’ve been accepted or not. (I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t talk about it and I am. Your money for subscribing to my newsletter will be refunded for this issue.) I’m checking compulsively now. Every day. It’s great to see my records! But the obsession and compulsion around checking them is getting a little cray-cray.
I’m still not happy about one of my damn applications not being complete yet, despite the fact that I know the recommendation letter got there a least a month before my application did. Open your mail and keep it on file, people! I’ll come over and help you open your mail.
And I found a meticulous catalog of all the response dates of many, many writing programs across the country for the last four years. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, now I know when I should start expecting to hear back from my schools, which is what the list makers intended, so I thank them for that. (The whole of March through early April is when responses came last year.) But I shouldn’t have read the comments, not at all.
In reading the comments, it seems that everyone else applied to way more schools than I did, at least seven or ten. I know, I had my reasons for applying where I did. Very good reasons for me. And I can do this again. But I start comparing myself to other people so easily. My insides to other people’s outsides. I compare how I feel to how other people appear to me. Especially since a few of the frequent commenters were the ones who got in absolutely everywhere last year. I mean, that makes sense. They were the very best writers. But it makes me feel insecure. Still, I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ll see. Just wait and see.
I know that a lot of my anxiety has to do with how much stock I put in school. I think it will fix me. If I do this, everything will be lovely. I’ll be happy. I’ll have a better career, maybe meet the person I love, who knows? All I know is that future is the one that I want, and no other. I do this a lot. Some people need a product, some people need a person, some people need a haircut to be happy; I need a particular future. I don’t know if this is better or worse than people who need a particular past to be happy. It’s just as impossible. Never have my futures worked out. Even when I get them, they’re not quite right. I’ve gotten the job, and it’s not what I wanted. I’ve gotten the move. I’ve had the apartment. I’ve gotten my heart’s desire, y’all, and it never, ever tastes quite right. Needs more salt. It always looks so much better from arm’s length. When I get there, it’s still so much work to be alive, and there’s still pain, and I’m still me. It is still real life.
Don’t get me wrong, I get whole hours of happiness. Huge slices. But I want it all, and I want it to be easy, and I want it to last. I think there’s gold in them there Delectable Mountains, and they exist only in precise permutations of the future.
Someday I’ll get over this. Someday. And everything’ll be better then.
But maybe this March I’ll find out that I’ll get into school!
Sighs. And dreams. And longing. And anxiety.