Taking my voice back

Image: Antonio Bovino

My first week of classes feels so long ago, I wonder if it ever happened. But the chilly autumn wind and rushing leaves confirm time has come to pass. Yet I am still the same as I was.

I guess I thought being here would change me – that somehow, a truth would reveal itself and alter my entire way of thinking. I thought being in an MFA program would switch on a lightbulb in my head – that I’d suddenly have all the answers. Truth is, being here has just provided me with better guides.

Throughout the application process, I felt like I was losing myself and my voice. Somewhere along the line, my submission piece stopped being my story, and just became a story.

Before I came to Stony Brook Southampton, I went to work, ate dinner with my family, saw my boyfriend. Many nights, I’d lay in bed thinking, “Is this all there is? Will it be this way forever?”

I still have many of the same worries today as I did before Southampton – will I make my bills on time? When will Bryan and I take the next step? How do I move up at work? These questions weigh on me, and take up a good deal of real estate in my brain box.

But there is something to be said for being away from it all – for not coming home to my mother screaming about dishes. For not needing to break from my work to help my dad with his e-mail. For not having to fix my grandmother’s TV.

Slowly, I find myself rediscovering what I lost. I hear that voice in the back of my head growing louder and louder. For what I once thought was doubt, was actually me trying to fight my way out.

There are a lot of reasons not to do something – don’t let yourself be one of them.

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