Moving from Arcadia into a year of limbo, then into Pafa was different. It was different from what I am experiencing now. Last time I graduated, I knew grad school still had to happen. The year in between was tolerable and free of panic.
This time, there is no more "easy" or "safe" school option.
Some people don't "do" grad school.
Some people seem to be saving it for later.
Some seem to want to wait. - I didn't.
I didn't savor the time in between school environments , and I enjoyed every second I was in grad school.
I wouldn't give up the connections and friendships I developed for anything.
My mentors and critics provided wise, yet firm guidance, with much needed understanding. My peers, always knowing how much more I could be and do, pushed and encouraged me. (Some more blatantly than others.)
I moved passed a very naive and insecure part of my life.
I have earned my Masters.
The first few days after family and friends went home were empty and motionless. Then something happened. I went to look at a studio space with Philippa and Kristen; friends and co-MFA graduates. We took a studio, about a mile from my house, in Old Kensington. I returned home after agreeing to be financially responsible for a 3rd of 1050 square feet.
Bigger than my house.
I was blind with panic.
Where does this money come from? How do I get a job? Right now?
It's 4 days later. Several resumes, cover letters and teaching philosophies later, and the panic has numbed a little bit. It's still there, but prospects are looking better. I found out early this morning that, despite Pafa's policy of suspending "left over" work-study hours of graduating students, I can finish using them! In addition to that, I have developed a relationship with a local boutique owner. My wallets will be available to buy at Swag at the end of the week! Checks from thesis sales and studio deposit will be in my pocket later in the summer, but for now I'm a little bit better.
I have high hopes for the applications that have been sent out, and I am still picking friend's brains, combing InLiquid and yes...eyeballing craigslist for anything that sounds remotely interesting. I pray I stay strong against the pull of the service industry. But even better, I am becoming more and more excited to be apart of a creative community with my new studio-mates.
Things are becoming less bleak. It means everything to sustain an out-of-home work space, and a peer community. I can see the other side.
It's a life style commitment. Not a hobby, not a phase. I have to make it work, no matter how many odd-jobs I have to take.
*top photo curtesy of Ruth