|Misti is in the middle--with the cleavage.|
Misti Pryor is one of my favorite things. I first met Misti when we were both cast in the NWA Listen To Your Mother show in 2012. I began stalking her on Facebook, Twitter and her blog because that's what I do, and I instantly fell in love with her because she was so welcoming and accepting and authentic and just loved you from the get-go. Then I met her in real life and understood that that was her--the real her. The next year, which was last year, she said I could be her sidekick for Listen To Your Mother 2013 in Oklahoma City. I hope you love her too because unless you are a downright mean person, she loves you too.
I “officially” graduate with my Masters degree in 20TH & 21ST century literature on Friday. I’m not participating in the ceremony, I’m not getting hooded or walking across the stage. I’m just anxiously awaiting the delivery of my diploma.
Graduate school isn’t for the weak, that’s for sure.
I had no idea just how much of it was a pure test of wills versus a test of knowledge until it was all finally over. It was a long, difficult and expensive road that took some twists and turns and in the end, delivered me not into a classroom of a ph.d program like I had planned, but into the world of non-profit leadership advocating for girls and working with volunteers.
As December is 1/3 over, maybe more by the time I finish this post, I look back and take stock and think about the year. If you put any trust in the Facebook Year In Review, you can see that this year was a big one, chocked full of new experience and friends and change.
Listen To Your Mother: OKC was a huge success. HUGE! We donated over $3000.00 in cash and diapers to Infant Crisis Services; we sold out the house and then had SRO for the event. Everyone involved worked well as a team and had a sense of connection to a bigger entity and that was really my goal for this thing. These women, the cast, the production team, and everyone involved from the sponsors to the staff were beyond anything I ever expected. I’m excited to start work on the 2014 show.
I sold my house to Julie and moved to Norman with Mark. THAT was huge. There were lots of tangles and tangibles and time eating THINGS that came with that. I’m still not unpacked fully. We are still not so organized that I can have all of my clothes and shoes in one closet (Silly historic homes with tiny closets) but it feels good. The transition wasn’t without some bumps. I don’t have any friends here that have known me longer than a year. Not to say that I don’t have any friends here, but really, anyone that knows-me-knows me well, they don’t live in Norman. And that is lonely many times. Having someone to go grab lunch with on the spur of the moment, or go sit at a bar and have Sunday Funday with and watch some football, that life seems to be on hold right now. That really has been the biggest adjustment to the move.
Quitting the hair business and moving out of academia and into the non-profit world was also huge. HUGE! The learning curve has been steep, but I feel like I have navigated it fairly well. I just keep saying, “if I can make it to Thanksgivng/Christmas/Through the Cookie Sale” and I have no doubt that I will make it. I’m already looking forward to next year, and how I will do things better than this year. So much better. But I do miss my clients; I miss doing hair and formulating color and the community of my Salon W family. I miss them terribly. I miss walking into Kamps Meat Market next door and getting some delicious lentil salad for lunch, or grabbing an after work drink and commiserating on all of the crazy that we saw.
We bought our little teardrop trailer and took her out for a few adventures this year. Santa Fe, Colorado, Talihena Oklahoma, Granite (MeMe Lois’ backyard to be exact). It’s the funnest thing ever and I cannot wait to see where we take her in 2014. Looking forward, that is one of the reasons that I write about these changes and events. I like to make note of them, to place them here so that I can look back and reflect. I don’t focus on the things that I miss, or the bumps in the ever changing road. They are part of the journey. It’s the looking forward part that really butters my muffin.
Graduate school almost broke me into a thousand pieces. But in a few weeks, I’ll have that piece of paper hanging on my office wall and no one can take that away from me. Gearing down from the ever constant stress has been interesting, and getting to actually read a book or two for fun has been a newly rediscovered joy.
I didn’t land anywhere near where I thought I was going when I started the program, and Lord how happy that makes me.
That is the biggest take away for me from this entire year.
Joseph Campbell said it, and I’ve read it over and over but it wasn’t until this year that I GOT IT.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
This life that was waiting on me? It’s a pretty awesome one.
In fact, it is my favorite thing.