My dream has always been to write. In middle school, I took a career aptitude test and prayed for it to say my ideal career would be “writer” — it was “accountant.” In high school, I wrote a novel instead of paying attention at my classes and got held back to repeat my junior year. I started a novel series when I was 25, then joined a class on novel writing where everyone laughed at it. I gave up on writing so many times. Then, I decided to throw my hat in the ring one final time. I had gotten hurt in a major car accident that crumpled the back of my car and lost my job as a side effect of my pain from the accident. I didn’t know what to do so I said: “Screw it, follow your dreams.”
I started at Grossmont Community College and moved onto University of California, Irvine. In Grossmont, I had many, many teachers be amazed at my writing and my GPA was 3.976. I was even selected to represent a sample paper in my intermediate composition class and chosen to be a student presenter on the “new voices” program for up and coming writers. During my time there, I received 7 minor press publications (Okay, not too amazing, but man it felt good). I transferred to UCI and maintained a 3.92 GPA. I received a summer fellowship in creative writing AND was accepted into the honors program for my creative writing ideas. I am about to become a student teacher in the topic of “graphic memoirs”, and even got approved for a grad level class as an undergrad. I have done everything I can to show grad schools I have what it takes.
I got rejections from e v e r y place I applied — even my own school. I knew the teachers in that program personally. I catered my entire application and class selections to impress them. I did everything I could, and I didn’t even get into my own school for an MFA.
All I have wanted my entire life was to write, and to teach writing. I thought I was finally on my way to the future I dreamed of but now that dream is over. I hear everyone saying: “don’t worry, you can try again next year.” I don’t see how if I can’t even get into my own school, despite every single thing I’ve done, a year without any practical experience furthering my writing will change anything. Additionally, I have kids to worry about. I can’t drag them all over the country or move every year while I apply places. It was always sort of a “one-and-done” sort of thing. I think life was trying to tell me something: You just can’t do it.
The absolutely ridiculous part is how hard I tried… for nothing. I didn’t even get waitlisted. I overworked myself time and again, all for nothing. I read an article that said “reasons you might not have been selected for grad school.” It said: “didn’t show leadership ability” — I won a national writing award and dedicated to teaching a college course for free. It said: “undergrad grades weren’t up to par” — I have a 3.92. If I finish with my grades consistent to what they were, I am going to graduate magna cum laude with honors. It said: “Lackluster personal statement” — no kidding, I am a neurodivergent queer from a disadvantaged background who’s lived through child abuse and domestic violence. I don’t know if “incredibly sad” counts as “luster”, but I’ve definitely known hardship and I’ve overcome it. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. The stupidest crap ever is how I’ve been told time and again that I write extremely well. I got a LoR from a teacher based on ONE STORY I submitted to her. Every teacher I’ve ever had says I write well except a crappy grad student teacher who said: “keep writing your fun stories for self-fulfillment.” I absolutely fucking HATE that he might be right. I wanted to shove those words down his smug little throat, but now I can’t.
If you think this post sucks, too bad. If you don’t like sob stories, then don’t read this. I don’t believe in toxic positivity and I think in my own spaces, I can vent however much I want. I can weep and complain and talk about how everything is an absolute shit-show and about how I am absolutely gutted and I’ve spent every second of the last 18 days crying (inside and outside). People always say they want to read happy stuff, not self pity parties. Welp, deal with it. It’s my blog. I am so depressed and hopeless that I can barely function. The world is filled with failures, yet all that’s good to talk about is our wins? People have made me feel bad for having feelings my whole life (hello patriarchy I see you there). People of all genders have told me I’m a downer. I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD — I am neurodiverse and have experienced a shitload of traumatic events in my life. It is a goddamned miracle that I’m even alive, let alone any level of successful. Coming into my space and expecting me to behave in some bullshit front-facing, marketable way isn’t gonna happen. That’s why I’ll never have what I want in life, I am not a bullshitter. I live my truth and that’s hard to package and sell.