Two down, two to go

Gryphon and the Mock Turtle

Once, I was a real turtle, and I thought I would just get into school because I could turn a phrase.

I have to go as soon as the dryer’s done. This is hastily written. The mites are still here, but are losing the war. I steam cleaned the mattress yesterday, and that helped. And the landlord plugged the holes in the roof, and made sure there were no more birds in the attic. But we’re not out of the mitey woods yet. So I still have to bleach my sheets, towels, and white blankets daily, and wash anything with color in an ammonia-borax mixture. It’s nasty. But I need to sleep, so as soon as the dryer’s done, so am I.

I have heard from two schools, and they have declined me. One declines all but six, so I’m not surprised. The other, that was a little surprising, but a bit of a reality check. This is the second time in five weeks someone has checked me on my behavior.

It would be one thing if I were a shitty writer. Yes, the news was extremely disappointing when I got it Saturday night. But by Sunday, I had processed it somewhat. Today I’m doing much better with it.

I wrote my applications the same way I do a lot of things I have fear around: at the very last minute. I procrastinate and back myself into a corner. That way, if I fail, I can say that I didn’t really try my hardest, so the failure isn’t really a failure of my best self. I’m not being judged on my true ability, so why should I care what they think? That’s crazy. Why shouldn’t I try my hardest?

I also was really sick, and just out of the hospital. I didn’t have that strong a portfolio. I don’t have any publications. My only recommender who’s a writer is from 2004. That’s seven years ago!

If I really want this, maybe I should put some time in building my portfolio and really growing in my craft. There are some other things I can work on at the same time, like my debt, paying off my car, stuff like that. There’s always time to go to school. I don’t have to do it now. Yeah, I’ll be older when I go, but so what? What’s a couple more years?

So yeah. I am now expecting two more rejection letters. Someone is telling me not to think negatively. But this way, I will be pleasantly surprised if I get an acceptance. I am okay with this. It would be different if I thought I was a shit writer. But no, this is really based on my behavior in the application process. I didn’t take it as serious as I could have. There are fucking services that will take $400 to look at your application. I finished it the night before it was due. I can look at this the way I would look at preparing for a career path, which it is, or I can expect them to trust me and go on luck.

Nope. There’s real footwork involved. Just because I have some skill doesn’t mean I can expect it to carry me in. Lots of people have some skill–some have way more than me. I need to show them I won’t choke when I get to school. I need to show them I can do this.

So yeah. That’s what happened to me between getting that letter and now.

Other things are also extremely uncomfortable. That relationship I mentioned before is still wacky, but getting better. I’m still in a place of uncertainty with it. Feeling a little manic. Hospital bill unresolved. Missing my friend who died last year.

But I have my arms and legs and a roof over my head and enough to eat and things are good. Gas enough in my car. When shots go off in the neighborhood, they aren’t coming in my window. And when the sheriffs roll by, they aren’t coming for me.

Life is good.


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