I came into my Master’s program with bright cheery eyes, and a beaming smile. I was jumping up and down with excitement, and had my eyes peeled open during every lecture. About halfway through my program, every paper began to turn into bullshit mesh. I began regurgitating the same topics, the same punitive assignments about interpreting my life according to certain theories of psychology. The burn-out set in and it was real. At first, school was exciting and enjoyable, then after a while, even though it was a bit of a safety net, it started to get in the way of what I truly wanted–like an overbearing parent. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not to discourage anyone from pursuing further education. The best thing I can do here, is to tell my story in its entirety, because remember, my story is mine and mine only. It could turn out completely different for you, but I digress. Actually, the journey wasn’t always rocky moments. In fact, I found a lot more wins in the midst of it than I had ever seen during the whole four and a half years I’ve been in Los Angeles. I finally mustered up the courage to call myself a writer, and surprisingly after all these years, an artist, too. I remember one day sitting and talking in the car with my mentor back then having this unbearable feeling of being fed-up. Not like the surface level “fed-up” where one says they hate their job only to roll out of bed and go back the next day, but like the actual, “if I continue to do this, I will die” fed-up. That was around January 2017, and that was the moment when I took my paintbrushes off the shelf for good. I pursued my artistry full-time during the latter part of my graduate career, which logically at least, seemed like the wrong thing to do in that season, but felt the most rewarding. Obviously, practicality wasn’t in my priority list. I was, and still am, purely focused on doing what makes me feel good inside and calling more of those opportunities into my life. Of course, being able to label each member of my family to a term in the Bowen’s Family Systems Theory is great, (which none of you probably have a clue what I’m talking about) but I came out with much bigger jewels– jewels that grad school could not have taught me.

This experience in its entirety taught me how to be undoubtedly unashamed and Self-ishly picky of who, what, and where I deposit my energy. The moment I made the decision to do that, the surprises were endless. All the old interests, I had previously been concerned about began to fall away. The fear of missing out things just seemed so distant. Going out no longer excited me and just the idea of getting text message invites from friends stressed me out. Solidarity became more of a necessity, as it gave me a chance to recharge from the outside energies of the world. Elevation became what I wanted more than anything, so much so, that one could even say I was distancing myself. I began to understand that if I wanted to achieve levels many others around me have not gone to, separating myself was sort of necessary. Even more so, I’ve felt the most forceful resistance from those closest to me at times, wanting to keep me in the ether of status quo and generational patterns which went against my Truth. I have this laser beam focus, and many of the visions that come to me are as clear as glass. I felt, and still feel this superbly powerful calling on my life, and I wanted nothing and no one– not a mother, not a father, not a brother or kin, not money, not “lack”, not fear, not insecurity, not opinions, not school, not white supremacy, not myself– to tear me away, pull me back down, or keep me from seeing it all come to pass.

If graduate school taught me anything, it is that, when I think about it, there are no mistakes. If the circumstances I had were any different during these last two and half years, I would’ve done exactly what I needed to do, with what I had in order to get the same results. Although, now I’m stuck between don’t flaunt the white supremacy’s stamp of approval (because at the end of the day college is a business run by the system) and “be proud of your accomplishments, the degree is more of a testament to the amount of fire I can take, and still walk outta that bitch like King Kong. Two and a half years of constant sleep deprivation, financial setbacks, overdrafted accounts, part-time work, free labor, “do-I-have-an-assignment-due?” paranoia, and at least three mental breakdowns have all come to a close, and good riddance, if I do say so myself. I had these bold ideas of what I wanted to do with both my background in art/fashion and my pending psychology, and two and a half years later, nothing has changed. If anything more dreams have been added to the list, and not only that, but everything came out a lot more refined. I guess graduate school did what it was supposed to do.

July 11, 2018

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