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Worth a Try…

December 10, 2010

Okay, one down and four (or five) to go.

I submitted my U of M application on Thursday night. I can’t believe I did it in three days. I was amazed that people were so willing to write recommendations for me. I was amazed how easy it was to write the statement of purpose. I was amazed by how much work I have already completed. (cutting it back to only 25 pages to submit was probably the hardest part). I was amazed how bad my grade from college really were.

Altogether I was amazed, excited and relieved the entire way.

So, obviously, this past week has been amazing for a lot of reasons. One of the largest reasons is that I really felt the Universe pushing me to get this done. At the end of the process I actually said something to my mom about part of this being a sign that I was supposed to apply to the U of M. And she said, “You mean another sign, right? There have been like four or five at this point.”

Yeah, my mom rocks.

The thing is, I totally felt like I was doing the exact thing I was supposed to do at the exact moment I was supposed to be doing it. And because of that, just finishing that step already has me feeling like I have accomplished so much. And I haven’t even been accepted … yet.

If you follow my tweets or you are my friend on Facebook you already know how giddy I’ve been about each step of this process. But that was nothing compared to how I felt when I got it done.

After I hit submit (and paid 75 bucks) I wanted to scream about it to everyone I knew. Of course it was past 9 p.m. so it would have been rude to call many people. But I did call one of my best friends from high school (the one who lives in Minneapolis) and she was super sweet and super excited. She actually screamed. That was pretty great. I get to go visit her and the school at the end of January.

I also celebrated with a salad from Wendy’s because I had skipped dinner (even though I wanted a pint of vodka and sexual encounter of some sort). After I ate, I almost immediately passed out on my couch. I mean I was asleep before 10 p.m. I also slept like the dead. I don’t remember the last time that happened.

Speaking of things happening – this is really going to happen. I’m really going to graduate school. It’s just becoming more and more real to me with each step I take forward. It’s strange when a dream or an idea gets pulled out of the realm of imagination and into the real world. With each step I have had to adjust to these ideas becoming real.

After taking the GRE I wanted to dance all over the place. And I really felt like I could do this. Again, like I had accomplished something major even though it was only the first step. But I had backed myself up against the wall giving myself only 2 months to prepare my applications. So it slipped back into my imagination a bit and I was afraid it might not actually happen.

I guess I thought I might not finish. And because of that, every now and then, I had little conversations in my brain that let me off the hook a little bit. (Who does that, by the way? Who let’s themselves off the hook for pursuing their dream? It seems crazy when I look back and realize that’s what I was doing.) I think I did it because I didn’t want to be too disappointed if I didn’t make it – if I didn’t accomplish this. If I let my life and job get in the way of me getting this done.

I never let myself completely off the hook because I was still trying no matter what. I just didn’t know if I was going to finish – ‘cause that’s sort of a pattern for me.

As some of you know I vacillate daily over whether I think I am a creative writing genius or just not good enough to even bother with all of this. I know that when it comes to graduate school it all depends who I am up against for the positions in the program. Kind of like when you audition for a play. So I might be the best applicant any of these schools get this year. Or, I might be the worst. But I’ll never know unless I try.

So many things in life are like that. No matter what I think about my personal abilities or skills – or what I can convince someone else about those skills – I might be the best or the worst of the bunch who try at any time. And even though I know that, there are a lot of things in my life that I have decided just weren’t worth all the effort if I wasn’t guaranteed to win in the end. That’s right. I’m lazy. That’s what that means right? It means I don’t even try most of the time.

I decide the thing isn’t worth trying for because of all the effort involved. But it isn’t about the thing. It’s about the trying. The thing isn’t worth trying for – I am. I’m worth a try. I deserve a chance and I have to give it to myself.

So, this is my chance. One of them anyway. I have one application done and I feel like the others are already half done. Of course, I still have to do the other half – but it’s worth a try.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Amelia permalink
    December 13, 2010 12:13 pm

    Join us in MN! It’s lovely here Crystal – you’ll love it! (And if you move here – lemme know! We can get drinks or something) Plus, the U of M is FANTASTIC (and has a lovely campus)


  2. December 14, 2010 6:52 am

    Congrats!! So excited to hear that you’ve been making good progress. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!


    • December 14, 2010 8:11 am

      Thanks, Catherine. And I’m sorry for the blog drought. I hope all my wonderful readers will come back with full force once I’m done with applications!


  3. December 14, 2010 9:07 am

    Kudos to you!!!

    I want to go to grad school but I’m a total failure. I’ve taken the GRE twice and both times, I’ve scored higher on the math portion than the English part. It doesn’t look so good when you’re an english grad trying to get an MFA.



    • December 14, 2010 9:11 am

      I actually scored higher on the math than the verbal too — like 50 points higher. But my verbal percentile was higher then my math percentile. I guess the math part is just easier than the verbal part. Although I found them both rather harrowing!


  4. December 14, 2010 12:55 pm

    Going back to school- grad school at that- is completely harrowing- I did it back in 2008, and I just defended my thesis last month. It’s STILL SCARY:

    I put up all my assignments on line too:

    What are you planning to study?


    • December 14, 2010 1:08 pm

      Creative Writing is my plan for now and I’m applying to the fiction tracks at all the schools. Although from time to time I consider literary non-fiction. But I already have a Journalism BS. That feels like the beginning of a literary non-fiction degree already. But who knows?


  5. December 14, 2010 1:31 pm

    Good how Crystal… I’ve observed that whenever I start writing a piece, I have a short idea on the beginning but as time passes and as my fingers dance on keys new things keep coming in my mind. After a couple of hours, a beautiful blog post comes to life. Which is far rich than the initial idea. For example I had only one line “The Lucky Idiot’s Phenomena” in my head when I started to write my recent blog post(resurrection of my English blog)… But after two hours, I got a very different piece of writing… So whether we have a feeling of being good or bad about something, results are decided after we’ve been through the “actual action”…


  6. Keep Your Woman permalink
    December 17, 2010 8:53 am

    I find this very fascinating. When you “felt like I was doing the exact thing I was supposed to do at the exact moment I was supposed to be doing it” it’s akin to athletes being what they call “in the zone.” When people come engrossed in the task at hand and everything just clicks, and falls into place. It’s an absolutely amazing example of being able to capture the positive emotions at hand for the sake of performance. It happens to composers, writers, and individuals just having that “on” day.

    “Painters must want to paint above all else. If the artist in front of the canvas begins to wonder how much he will sell it for, or what the critics will think of it, he won’t be able to pursue original avenues. Creative achievements depend on single-minded immersion.”

    -Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

    You’ve got the flow, keep it up…


    • December 17, 2010 9:27 am

      Thank you for the encouragement. I was working on another application last night and I was feeling “in the zone” again!


  7. December 17, 2010 1:33 pm

    Hey, congratulations! Stay in the zone! Good luck!


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