7/7 Challenge and Update on Grad Schools

Back in December and January, I went a little crazy and applied to five graduate schools for programs in creative writing, fully expecting not to get into any of them. But only a day after submitting my last application, I heard back from University of Portsmouth with an offer. This was followed by an offer from Nottingham Trent University and Chatham University.

I am still pretty blown away. I’m not affecting false modesty when I say I honestly don’t believe my writing is anything special. I’m proud of my ideas and characters, but I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty normal, unremarkable writer. I think this comes from growing up in my teen years with some writers who had extremely unique, distinct voices, while my writing has almost always been pretty sparse, straightforward and simple. So when my prof and I talked about the probability I wouldn’t get in anywhere, I fully expected that to happen.

Well, this week I had a phone interview with a school which has long been a dream of mine: Bath Spa University. I’ve loved Bath, England, ever since I entered the city on my 18th birthday with my mentor, Nicole Pool. When I found out they had a Writing for Young People MA program, I almost had a heart attack. But I’ve known it’d be a long shot.

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Reaccepting the Unacceptable

I have posted before (a while ago) about the cycling stages of accepting my rheumatoid arthritis I go through when new things crop up. But this week I’ve thinking a bit about why it’s so hard to be okay with stuff getting worse when I’ve already gone through the process of trying to be okay numerous times in the past.

This week I went to see a nurse practitioner about my toenail (my doctor couldn’t fit me in for another few weeks). Because of my Raynaud’s Syndrome, the toenail had gotten weird and had to be removed about two years ago. It grew back more dragonish than before, and has recently started to hurt whenever any pressure (i.e. shoes) is applied. The nurse gave me a referral to see a foot specialist person, which is pretty much what I expected and wanted.

We had the standard exchange:
Nurse: It says here you have rheumatoid arthritis. How’s that going?
Me: Oh, well, fine.
Nurse: Wow, you’re so young…
Me: Mhmm.

Got in the car feeling pretty okay and started to drive. It took a few minutes before her words started ringing in my ears and the old pain and grief resurged in full force. I started having the panicky feeling that everything was spinning out of control again (not that it’s ever really controlled) and flashbacked to those worst health-related moments throughout the years. I was sad, sad, sad, and staring again into the abyss of what-if’s and why’s. All this a knee jerk reaction to a fairly uneventful appointment that went the way I expected.

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