Because you read me, I wrote more.
Because I wrote more, I got better.
Because I got better, I was accepted into grad school.
And now, I’ll be writing less.
It’s funny how we spend our lives wandering in circles, thinking we’re traveling in straight lines from Point A to Point B(etter).
When I was 16, I read Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War. The author
I went to college at UNC-Chapel Hill because it had the best journalism program in the country. (I followed straight lines, like I said.) Then I came upon an intersection: the week before starting classes, while on my very first backpacking trip, I slipped on wet rocks and sliced my shin down to the bone. Gazing at previously unknown layers of tissue and fat, I realized I’d never been so badly injured. But, looking out over mountains beyond mountains, all I felt was a profound calm. The wilderness showed me I was stronger than I imagined, and that knowledge lured me down another path. My straight line curved: by the time my wound scarred over, I’d traded journalism for anthropology and an imagined future guiding outdoor expeditions around the world.
Of course, my newly charted lines curved again and again. Studying for a semester in Mexico led me to loving Julio, and he became a new link to learning Spanish and living abroad. After a broken heart sent me home to North Carolina, being bilingual was a path into joining the field of global public health. More lines led to marriage, a house, and three dogs. And then, unexpectedly, starting a new job with Duke’s writing program led me to a friend. Her suggestion that I author a blog seemed like just another line shooting off into the unknown, but the thing is: enough lines drawn at specific angles form a hexagon. And a hexagon with the corners sanded down by time looks an awful lot like… a circle.
This Monday and Tuesday, I went to my grad school orientation. Guess where I’m going? UNC-Chapel Hill. Guess what I’m studying? Communication, in the freaking School of Journalism. (I hear it’s still the best program in the country.)
Half the message of this post is an update: With my new focus on school, I’ll be lucky if I post on this blog twice a month. I won’t get to read you all like I used to either, but I’ll think about you all the time. It was writing for this blog that reminded me how much storytelling means to me; how many forms it can take and the vital ways it can change the world. It was working on collaborations with some of you that convinced me I have a real talent for editing and digital publishing.
I learned about my acceptance to grad school when the program director called me at work. You guys, she called to thank me for writing. She thanked me for the words on this blog and the ways they moved her. Essentially, Tip of My Tongue is the reason I was admitted to my graduate program, and now I’m going to learn how to make a living doing what I love! If you hadn’t read me in the first place and commented back, this blog would never have gained that kind of power.
Among all the overlapping circles of life, my online friends have become a steady landmark. Thank you all, so much, for helping me find my way.