Look for Me, Baby (But, Baby, I’ll be Long Gone)

As May 11th approached and graduating college loomed on the horizon, I began to experience something a bit odd. I began to feel… nothing unusual.

I mean, there were times when I got a little sad. But these times weren’t super significant. I remember tearing up thrice:
1) When Dr. Watkins was singing a traditional bluegrass song at our literary magazine’s launch party, as he has almost all of the past eight semesters
2) When I left my last creative writing class for the last time
3) When I drove away from my last day of work

Considering many of my friends were in a near-constant state of tears, this surprised me. I am an easy crier, as anyone who knows me can testify. I cry when I am sad, happy, and especially (inconveniently) when I’m sincere or angry. I’d been expecting a lot of ~feelings~ related to graduating. Given that leaving my semester abroad was like falling through multiple glass windows, leaving a place that’s been my home for four years should’ve been at least a little hard.

As I watched the gates disappear in the rear view window, I realized I wasn’t leaving. I was moving.

To a normal and sane individual, I daresay these are the same things. But to a military brat, they aren’t.

Leaving is when you aren’t ready, when it’s a tear that’s creating a probably permanent divide. Leaving is putting an ocean and years between you and a place full of belonging.

Moving isn’t always easy. But it’s logical. It’s goodbyes, boxes, done. It’s routine. At least, that’s how the past several moves have felt, ever since my family moved out of my hometown in 2001.

The things that tugged at my sentimentality are the things I will never have again. The things that should have made me cry–hugging my friends and parting ways–didn’t.

When I lived in Chesapeake, a girl in my youth group once told me, “It must be hard leaving all your friends.” And I said, “Not really. The people who you truly care about and who truly care about you stay with you. The ones who don’t, don’t.”

So I found my instincts kicking in, and I looked at campus with dry eyes, not knowing when I’d return, and knowing very well that it wouldn’t be the same when I go back. I won’t be the same when I go back. But four years was a long time to settle. I’ve got my friends and good memories along for the ride–and that’s not something to cry over.

I won’t say a part of me isn’t tired of byes and boxes and beginnings. But most of me is ready for another adventure.


Spring Semester 2013: Greatest Hits

It’s that time again–the time where I sum up the greatest moments of a semester. This spring was my last semester at Berry College, so it’s fitting that some of these greatest hits were the best of all four years.

  • Senior road trip and Harry Potter World with a good friend.
  • The many, many lunches and dinners on the English Department’s tab, talking with witty students and hanging out with cool professors.
  • Getting a call in the office from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
  • Acceptance letters and emails from all my graduate schools.
  • Dinner at a sketchy but delicious Mexican restaurant with the SOUP team.
  • Joining my roommate and dear friend, Kyley, on her first flight.
  • 11:00 PM on a Thursday night when the Indiegogo campaign passed our goal of $6000 in 10 days.
  • Boston in the snow over Spring Break.
  • Adventuring into tall towers with daring friends.
  • Getting nominated as one of a handful of the best female student workers at the college.
  • My Ramifications staff presenting me with a small chest full of treasure.
  • Lunches with my coworkers–at Harvest Moon, and later at Outback.
  • Interviewing Kirsten Gates and having her story come together almost effortlessly. Seeing the story on the cover of the magazine.
  • Hanging out with Marcella and Casey after my senior reading, surrounded by English nerds.
  • The woman telling me she never understood how Rheumatoid Arthritis felt until I read my poem.
  • Wednesday nights with Michelle, Molly and Julie. Praying, laughing and crying together.
  • Receiving an award for my writing after working over five months on that portfolio.
  • Prep talks, Star Wars debates, and Star Trek discussions with Rick and Casey.
  • Fiction final with classmates wearing fake mustaches as they read from their portfolios.
  • Dr. Watkins’s hug as I walked down the street lined with professors after graduation.
  • Shaking President Briggs’s hand and walking away with my diploma.

A Campaign for $6000 in 10 Days

Sometime last semester I stumbled upon Indiegogo while browsing Tumblr. I thought it was an interesting idea and mentioned it to Brin, the founder of the African SOUP (an organization I’ve worked with for a few years). This semester, we decided to go for it. I found myself making plans, putting together material, and getting ready for a huge campaign. Most Indiegogo campaigns are several weeks long. We decided to push the limit and make ours 10 days.

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The Grand Graduate School Reveal

A lot of friends and family and coworkers and professors and strangers (ok, not strangers) have been waiting on the edge of their seats (maybe a slight exaggeration) for the Grand Graduate School Reveal.

Previously on:

Bath Spa University vs. Chatham University!

Bath Spa: Located in Bath Spa, England, quite possibly my favorite city in the world. Offers a MA in Writing for Young People. One year program.

Chatham University: Located in Pittsburgh, PA. Offers a MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Writing for Young People, plus the possibility to get a dual emphasis in Creative Non-Fiction and a concentration in Travel Writing. Also has the Writing Without Walls program, where graduate students teach creative writing to prisoners and other needy people.

And the winner is…

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Busting into Boston: Days 4-6

Backdated to March 8th.

Day 4: Snow and the Conference

On March 8th, Kyley and I woke up to snow, snow, and more snow. We took a slow walk down to the T-station (during which we found drifts where I sank up to my thighs). Kyley was really interested in seeing Chinatown, so we headed that way. Though it was actually pleasantly cool outside of city proper, when we emerged in the city the wind was merciless and the snow was icy enough we kept ducking into alcoves to get shelter from the stinging. What we saw of Chinatown wasn’t too impressive (mostly some shops and a McDonald’s with Chinese on it), but for all I know the cool stuff was buried in the bad weather.

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nothing much

There are a lot of things I need to write about.

I need to finish up the Boston trip. I need to write about how on Saturday (or Friday–it’s a blur) two weeks ago today I got the call that my grandma was dying. I need to write about the funeral. I need to write about coming back to school. I need to write about the graduate school I chose.

But every time I open a blog entry to write, I feel overwhelmed. I am tired. I have too many things that need saying, and I’d rather do homework.

Once I write about it, it’ll be true. It’s stupid, because I’m not in Boston anymore, and I’ve made my decision, and she is dead, and the words won’t change any of that. But they will change a little of me.

It’s so strange being back in Georgia where it’s warm and sunny and people are stressing about the last six weeks of school and everything’s falling together in an avalanche of stuff and I can count on a few fingers the number of people who have asked me about the funeral or how I am but for the most part everything keeps turning and I am tired.

I will be upping my arthritis medication today and I am tired.

I haven’t touched my manuscript in weeks and I am tired.

I need to post those entries and I am tired.

My grandma is dead and I am tired.

That’s all for now.

Busting into Boston: Days 1-3

My roommate, Kyley, had never been on an airplane in her life. I was determined that before the end of our undergrad time together, she would go somewhere with me, if only so she’d be comfortable flying when she had to visit me in the future! We originally were planning to go to my house in VA, but when I found out the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference was in Boston this year… we made a slight change of plans.

Kyley dubbed the trip “Busting into Boston,” and on Tuesday we set out on our adventures

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