I like how the day sounds

It's been a long haul since my last post. On Wednesday, my mom had to drive up here and talk me out of quitting school entirely. Remember how I lost two classes when the quad changed? Yeah, didn't make a bit of difference for my stress levels, reason being that I put all the semester classes on the back burner to finish the work for the quad classes, and now I'm playing hardcore catchup. Things that shouldn't have been stressful, like taking photos, were. I was overwhelmed and shutting down. Didn't want to make videos. Didn't want to make prints. Didn't want to read. Didn't want God. Didn't want to get up in the morning because I knew everything was going to suck. Eating made me feel better and so I put on weight. Sleeping made me feel best because everything went away when I was unconscious. I couldn't help thinking, if good, beautiful things like photographs and God are twisted this way out in the real world, then I'm never going to make it... and there's really no point in trying. I'd rather give it up while it's still my choice. So I wanted to leave school.

Long story short, I talked to my mom and she got me to develop the six rolls of film I was putting off and took me out for food and tried to convince me not to hold myself to such high standards, which is what she always does when I get like this (but it's never been this bad before). The thing about me is, I want to do my best at everything I try, and that stresses me out but I can't help it. Anything less would be a failure. I do not settle. I don't know how. But just being with her made me feel better. She said if it's going to do this to me then I'm not allowed to go to school next year, but in the meantime we formulated a vague game plan to make it through this year and prepare for next as if it was going to happen, just in case I stayed.

Then on Friday, I went to talk to Brian Glenney about it all. It's funny that I'd rather talk to him than my own advisor. I think we're kindred spirits in a way, and I was really encouraged by our conversation. He started by telling me he wouldn't try and convince me to stay and that he didn't want to give me a parent's response, since naturally I'd already heard that. What he said was that I need to take time for writing every day. Doing that will renew me and give me the energy and creativity to handle the crap I have to deal with in classes, and it was clear to him that not doing it was the reason I fell into despair. He said not to write for the professor but for publication, for a bigger audience, because that's the level I'm at. We talked about the rest of my college career, and he said that I'm a good enough student not to need school, but I'm a good enough student that I should be in school. Finishing my degree will get me from here to the next place faster, and sticking it out will prepare me to face the inevitable challenges I'll face after school, even if the process is merely jumping through hoops (as he put it). So the plan is that I'll take 12-14 credits a semester instead of the traditional 16, leaving me time and energy to write Before the Empty Moon (which he liked the sound of =D).

Over the weekend, I worked out my schedule with my mom and it looks like I will have no problem completing core requirements and requirements for the comm arts major in time to graduate in spring 2011 like I'm supposed to, even at 12 credits a semester. I decided that I would not take on the media track in addition to the writing track. It's only three more classes.... but it's three more classes. You know? I just need to get done and get out. Like Brian and I talked about, what I need out of college as a writer is the college experience, and with the way I've been this semester, I'm not getting it.

So needless to say, things were looking brighter. It certainly helped that I didn't have ANY assignments hanging over my head this weekend (I mean, I had some catch-up reading and 2 rolls of film to shoot, but that could wait.) I worked on Before the Empty Moon a lot this weekend and finished reading a book I borrowed from my professor in 2008 (The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes; I highly recommend it if you're a writer). And today, I've got more energy and hope than I can remember having in a long time. You know what? Ima start that writers society. I saw Evan at Lane this morning and we're going to have our first meeting sometime on Wednesday. I want to call it The Kettle Society because of something I read in that book I just finished. Keyes was talking about writers who aren't productive unless they have deadlines, and when Evan and I first started talking about the society, we mostly wanted to start it for the accountability: so that we would have a reason to make writing a priority. No one wants to show up at a writers group without any writing to share. Keyes said that Gail Godwin would put the tea on and use the kettle's whistle as a deadline. Similar to the kettle's whistle, the Kettle Society would create a sort of deadline that would force us to make progress.

Well, I'll be late for chapel if I don't get out of here, and we don't want that, since Roomie is gracing us with her lovely voice this morning. Over and out.


Brijenieve said...

Glenney is SO quality - I really miss him. He's 100% right - you're a writer, and are going to be bogged down if you don't get to write. I hate that things have been so stressful lately, but I think the Kettle Society is a fantastic idea that will serve as fresh air in the midst of the polluted swamp that is school.

Hah as for you wandering through the woods naked, well... you are a quirky type. Maybe we just know to look for the unexpected from you. And honestly, I've heard of stranger things happening in those woods back there....... lol

Happy chapel/lunch/Monday!

Brijenieve said...

PS this is one of my favorite songs, and favorite artists! WOO! ;)

Anonymous said...

i do love that this song was from me...even if it was free. C: it's just such a good song. i'm listening to it right now.

i love you. i'm glad you have things figured out for next year. at least tentatively. it sounds like you will do better.

i hope you have a lovely day. C:

Rhianna Joy said...

I know exactly how you feel,i m going through the same thing right now and everything just seems to be in a vicious cycle. i still havent found the magic tonic to pick me up from this slump. its just like drowning. well i m here for you even though its kinda random to here that from me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda, I just wanted to see how you're doing, and let you know that you are not alone in your feelings at all. Your mom called me today and we had a nice talk, but I just wanted to check up on you. You can always talk to me if you want. I know all about emotional crises, haha. But you're a million times more driven and organized than me so you'll be okay. When you finish school you're not even going to be 22, and you're going to be completely free to live life under your own direction. College is just a stepping stone in that direction, you know? Anyway, sorry to ramble randomly on your blog. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you!


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