It was a grey day as I boarded the Peter Pan bus from Amherst to Springfield MA. Inside I knew, this was the day I was to start writing my blog again. As the wheels begun to turn, so did the gears in my brain. I knew inside what I wanted to write, but getting it all out in a well crafted piece of literature had been intimidating me for weeks.
So there I sat, typing and retyping sentences, unconvinced the words were coming out right. Determined to expel all the feelings I have been carrying on my shoulders for so long, I persisted until I found a foothold in the reality of what transpired. This is to be the fist blog entry that will be known as my confessions.
As I looked out the window of the bus, sheets of rain poured down from thy sky, skewing the world outside while I typed on my computer. I sat silently, headphones in my ears and yet there was no music playing. It turns out I didn’t need music, the only sound I needing to hear was the gentle clicking of fingers on keyboard. Slowly, I started to translate the truth as it flowed out of my mind in steady pulses, bleeding its way onto the screen.
This particular truth of my life starts on the morning of May 24th 2013. I awoke that day, hoping to feel the excitement I had been anticipating for 4 years. Today marked graduation, a day that millions of students celebrated the completion of school and the start of real life. That day I awoke and got ready as I always did, spending extra time to look presentable on such a special day. I put on my pretty face, did my hair, and put my best foot forward. However, when I was done getting ready I found myself staring into the mirror in wonder. For a day that marks such a big change I didn’t feel any different. Then I realized I had more anxiety then excitement brewing deep in my mind.
All day I tried to find my excitement. I so badly wanted to feel the way everyone around me looked. The feelings never came the way I was expecting. The only time I felt inspired and really excited was when Zandra Rhodes gave her speech. She had been brought in to be our guest speaker and guest of honor. When she got up to give her speech, she did not tell some inspiring fluffy story about ugly ducklings getting beautiful, or past students unlikely triumphs. Her speech was about hard work, the realistic potential for failure, and the road ahead not always being a pretty one. The honesty of her speech was the only one in the whole lot that made me smile. Zandra and I have always been on the same page when it comes to success. Everyone wants to be famous, but few are willing to do what it takes to get there. Reflecting back on that day months later, I think the reason I never felt elated was because accomplishing school was never a goal for me. I went to school to accomplish other life goals like living in London and studying under Zandra, or the month I spent at the Paris Fashion Institute studying fashion with some of the best of the best in the industry. THOSE accomplishments I felt excited to celebrate. But finishing school always felt like something I had to do to be able to accomplish things worth celebrating, not something worth celebrating itself. To some of you I must sound insane right now, and perhaps I am, but never the less graduation day was overall depressing because I felt left out of the excitement emotionally.
After graduation I took some time off to regroup. Regrouping turned out to be doing nothing but sitting in my apartment watching TV, telling myself I was regrouping. I stopped creating, and did little work. As the days passed, there began to evolve a hollow feeling inside me. Oddly my brain simultaneously felt fried and overworked.
I “regrouped” for about a month, maybe a bit more, living in various states of emptiness. Finally the day came where I picked myself up and said “enough!” I needed to be working towards the next thing in my life, I needed to be creating again! You see I am what normal people call a creator, an artist, and occasionally a crazy person. I am the special type of person that can be internally destroyed if I am not constantly growing and making something within my life. For example: the moment I stop working and growing I feel as if I am dyeing, slowly watching the clock tick down to the next day.
It was at this time that everything changed for the better. Within a week I was heading back to Western Massachusetts to work painting houses, cleaning rentals, and mowing lawns (my usual summer routine to earn money.) This summer, the work was grueling, the temperatures soared passed 100 degrees, and the heat and humidity were unbearable, but I pushed through it. I found the work was as much for my mental state as my financial standing. Each time I put in 7 hours of literally sweating buckets, my mind felt lighter and more focused.
Two weeks later I returned to my gym routine, allowing all my negative energy, doubts, and feelings of emptiness to be worked off on the treadmill. I started thinking to the future, about what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it. But still, there was one thing holding me back. One thing that I still waited for a response from, the uncertainty holding me back from truly moving forward. That thing loomed in the recess of my mind, still unsettled by the current times. This one thing would determine what the next few months were for me, and possibly alter the rest of my life.