School has finally started and I was able to have meaningful interactions with other humans. It made me feel like I belonged somewhere–like I wasn’t floating around in-between two spaces, but that this place where I am… I actually am.
You don’t realize how much you define your own existence based on reinforcement from others until there are no others. We mark our place in this world with landmarks, and when it comes to personal being… those landmarks are other living things. Other than a possibly stray cat and the lovely man who set me up with a brand new MacBook (if you’re in Victoria and your MacBook completely dies, make sure to look up Byte Computers because they are the best in the business), I haven’t had a real, face-to-face conversation with someone in so long. So, I was very happy to walk into a classroom of 45+ students and dish about writing for 3-ish hours, and then walk into another classroom and dish again with a smaller group. Grad school is the best. I mean, stressful. But so cool.
I mean, did I feel a little out of my depth? Of course. I had no idea where I was going all of the time. Everything that happened reminded me of how insecure, nervous, and permanently anxious I am. But, I persevered–I made it through the day mostly unscathed (although very, very sweaty) and I think I even made a friend (I say think because I usually assume everybody hates me until I have concrete evidence otherwise). He’s in my cohort, and he’s from Edmonton, too! Who knew our prairie city was so full of talent? Well, I mean, I know that obviously, but it’s nice to have it recognized times 2, am I right? And then I even made it through the first week without any major incidents (I did neglect to adhere to social standards and email someone in my cohort back… but I swear I’m going to make it up to him).
Now that I’ve met my talented cohort, I’ve moved on to the actual writing component of a writing program. And I’m terrified. Writing should be the one thing in this whole process I feel most comfortable doing–it’s the only thing I’ve actually done before. But I can’t seem to make the words come. I try, and then I quit. And I try, and then I quit again, and tell myself I’ll try again tomorrow… maybe tomorrow the words will be ready to flow. But tomorrow comes, and tomorrow goes, and I’m left with a mostly-blank word document and half-formed ideas. What if the words never come again?
I know, I know. Shitty first drafts. Write to the end of my headlights. Take things bird by bird. I’m frustrated because I want to make sure that I prove myself. I need the validation that I actually belong here… and I don’t think I’ll get that validation with a crappy draft.
So, the good news is, I have friends now! The bad news is, I’m afraid they won’t be my friends for long.