(Please note the chiaroscuro on my right arm. Learning that word cost me at least
$700, so pardon my smartie-pants comment. Just trying to get my money's worth!)
As my heels clicked down the 52 stairs of the Applied Arts building, I felt strangely as if I were leaving a bit of my heart behind, an emotion for which I cannot say I was prepared. My finals were complete, summer was seconds away. And yet it was like saying goodbye to someone going on a long term journey; I'd see this place again in time, but it and I were sure to change, and I would never again feel for it as I did in this one moment.
Silly, I know. All that for a building.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, I pushed open the door to the outside and it came in a sudden crashing wave: I had done it. My first year back at college.While to others this might not seem like an achievement--it's something millions of 18 year olds do every year-- I'd entered with so many doubts. Doubts about my creativity, wondering if I was truly a creative individual. Fears that the financial burden of living alone, paying tuition, the cost of daily commutes and supply expenses would become too much. But mostly, worries that my depression would slink back in, robbing me of the energy and creativity I'd felt when I decided to return to school. And it had. There were days in which my depression was present...and every brushstroke, every minuscule creative expenditure seemed like an exhausting uninspired effort. But most days, I forced myself to choose creative growth. Because after all, it is what I want.
Being an insecure girl, I don't naturally believe I can do things. It takes time...and pushing before I finally grasp the concept that I could really, truly do something. And in so many ways, within the walls of that building I had been pushed. Pushed to stick to it, to give more, pushed to dream a little further. And finally, at nearly 24, I'm beginning to believe it: I can do something. Not just an arbitrary something to fill my days, but a "something" with depth and purpose to fill my heart.
In future years, during exhausted or uninspired days, I'll return to this moment, this euphoric sense of achievement over a seemingly small accomplishment. I'll return and imagine how exponentially fulfilling it will be when after days, weeks, semesters of choosing my education over lack of inspiration and depression, after a few more years of believing that I can do something...I will finally hold the degree for which I'll have fought so entirely.