I awoke this morning to a myriad of emotions and thoughts rolling through my mind.
* I’m three months away from completing my MFA Program. It has been one of the greatest rushes of my lifetime, but not for the reasons most would expect. I already have a Masters Degree in Communications from Arizona State. I’m proud of that accomplishment. Why did I decide to go for an MFA in Creative Writing? Well, initially, I wanted to have a terminal degree to increase my chances of being more in the academic arena than an Adjunct. From the first day I entered a College classroom, I felt teaching was my calling. Truth be told, it’s one of the most difficult fields to get a job that compensates on the level of a “full time Professor.” I am grateful to have my Adjunct position at UT, but I struggle, really struggle, to support myself financially.
* Four terms into my MFA, I realize that the dream of teaching will always be in my mind, but I’ve risen to another level. I have connected with some life changing mentors: Erica Dawson, Alan Michael Parker, and Sandra Beasley. I have also connected with some phenomenal poets that have inspired me in so many ways, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Tarfia Faizullah, and Jamaal May. I have a bucket list of writers I still want to meet and of course on the top of that list is Patricia Smith.
* I have always written, always understood that writing is like breathing for me; I can’t exist without it. The shift from pre MFA poet to Post MFA poet is profound. My love for language has grown exponentially and my love for words means something different. I used to bang out poems in a short amount of time and feel I’d reached unimaginable depths. Not so then, but definitely now. I find myself pondering over a word for days, a line break changes several times before it feels right, and so on.
* Most importantly, I have become aware of the world around me, the people in it, and how I fit into the big picture. I no longer write big, now I write about the moments in the big picture that capture me, befuddle me, anger me, sadden me, etc. Writing about a moment in time allows me not only to share it, but to feel it. There is nothing more gratifying than stopping time for just a second to inhale life and then breathe it out onto the page.