Back in December I ranted about my inability to move forward with my writing and my desire/hesitation to apply to RIC’s Creative Writing Certificate program. Update, my babies: I applied and was accepted! I was dropping off my mom at home and on my way to dinner with my pumpkin patch Cindy when I received the email from the Graduate Director notifying me of my acceptance. “MA, I GOT INTO THE PROGRAM!” I yelled through my window and sped off. I clutched my crystal rings and thanked my lucky stars.
Since then, cynical and ruthless Jax has had a bit to say, like: “the program isn’t that hard to get into,” “there probably weren’t a lot of applicants so they accepted you by default,” and “you are a shitty writer who can’t compete with the big dogs.” But my excitement and yearning for a transformation and the realization that I am moving forward – and never again back – silences such needless thoughts. The encouragement of my family and friends has also been amazing; having people in your corner makes you less afraid.
Shit feels like it’s going right. Not just right, but upwards and at the speed of light. I am making amends with my body by treating it better and going to the gym as often as possible and making healthier diet decisions. I am taking a creative writing class that has forced me to be creative and analytical once again. I am making an effort to travel more and can’t wait until my next trip in May. My friends and I are branching out and trying things we were once ashamed to admit we liked. Two weeks ago I was at the State House in support of the RI Promise being expanded to RIC and two days later attended a Women’s Summit. Next weekend I will be attending a Latinx conference. Not all is perfect; life never is. But growth is happening, things are busy.
I attribute this change in attitude to my experience with Stranger Stories PVD and my recent trip to Orlando. Sharing my story aloud validated that people like what I have to say. My cousin Tito reminded me that while I have made a lot of progress and growth, there is still a lot more to be accomplished, and that the search for happiness and purpose never ends. But more than that, I feel like a different person. I have let go of some baggage and just want to laugh and travel and learn. It’s as simple as that. I’m tired of the gray, tired of the stagnation, tired of limiting Jax to what she knows or is comfortable with. I feel so selfish and, for the first time in a long time, purposeful. I like myself, and it’s so fucking sad to think that at one point I didn’t. I ain’t ever felt bettah.
“and i said to my body. softly. ‘i want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath. and replied, ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.'” – Nayyirah Waheed