“The most beautiful part of your body / is where it’s headed.” – Ocean Vuong, “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong“
One of my goals for this year was to apply to graduate schools. I’ve long considered going to back to school for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I thought it would help me improve my craft, give me time to write, put me in touch with others in the writing community, among other things. There were a few obstacles in my way, but I was working on them. I took college classes to improve my undergraduate GPA. I produced a body of work for my portfolio. I narrowed down my program choices, then narrowed them further.
Finally, last December, DH and I sat down and review the numbers.
A budget is that magical place where dreams either hit the pavement running, or just hit the pavement. Because even at a low-residency program where I keep my day job, we were looking at a cost of $60,000. That is just not feasible, given our current financial situation.
It’s a disappointing reality to have to choose between things like “having a kid” and “buying our first house” in the next five years and furthering your education in pursuit of a dream. But ultimately, education can be postponed, whereas other goals have stricter timelines.
But these kinds of moments can have a clarifying impact, as well. It cuts away the coal to reveal the diamond truth beneath: My dream is not to get an MFA. My dream, in its clearest expression, is to have a career publishing my work. The only thing that requires is hard work, some luck, and a lot of writing. I can manage that on my own.