Become the Voice...


A week ago today I was accepted into DePaul University's MA in Journalism Graduate Program by the "unanimous and enthusiastic vote of its Graduate Board in Journalism". When I read those words I was completely elated. I half-screamed, jumped up and down, and ran to the elevator so I could go outside and call my mom. Tears filled my eyes as I fanned myself like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality when she's mocking the pageant girls exclaiming, "Oh if I only had a brain!". I was so thrilled I didn't read the entire e-mail! When I went back up stairs I was scrolling through the prose and realized that in addition to being accepted, I had been award a $2,400 scholarship! I was speechless, but quickly pressed "Mom" on my phone to call my mom back and tell her the good news. A scholarship! That's more than I thought possible.

On my drive home that day I blasted Taylor Swift's song "Mean", emphasizing the words, "Someday I'll be living in the big old city and all you're ever going to be is mean..." I wanted to scream to the world and everyone who’s ever doubted me or devalued my accomplishments (including myself): “See! I did it!!” It's been a long time since I've felt this happy. I am so proud of myself. I feel invincible. Unstoppable. My faith is renewed. I believe in dreams again. I’m not good at letting things in, but this time I’m completely embracing my accomplishment. No one can devalue it.

Applying to graduate school was never in my life plan. It hasn't been an easy process. Writing my personal statement almost killed me. But with the help of Heavenly Father, I did it. I'm in! I'm moving to Chicago and embracing an amazing opportunity, an opportunity I deserve. I always feel like I get the fuzzy end of the lollipop, but not this time. I may not have the one thing I desire most, but I have a reason to live again. I'm excited. Passion is once again a part of my vocabulary. I don’t know what’s next and that’s ok. I’ve realized there is no set equation for life, only steps we choose to take. Reaching dead ends is not failure. It’s only failure if you don’t turn around and set off on another course.

I constantly examine my own reality. Wonder if I'll be in the same place I am in the year to come. When good things (and bad things) happen, reflection naturally follows. As I contemplate my future I've thought a lot about where I was a year ago. I was panicked. A panic over where my life was headed. I missed my best friend. I still do but she comes home in August! I thought I was in love with someone and made him the solution to all my fears. Doing so made an already complicated relationship even harder. I craved intimacy’s protection and the comfort of answers that wouldn’t come. With the help of the Savior, close friends, a loving family, and therapy, I’ve endured this difficult year and found direction; a purpose. I feel truly blessed.

Today, my acceptance letter and packet came in the mail. Now, it’s official. I’m going to the Windy City. I have the opportunity to become the kind of person I truly want to be. To look fear and failure in the face and make it stare back at me. To fully embrace DePaul's adage to "Become the Voice". That sentiment speaks to my soul. I know I can write. I know I can do this. Did I mention I’m super excited?

7 comments:

Mom said...

Riss-you are amazing-I feel priveleged to be the first one you shared your news with. Look out Chicago-here she comes!

Mimaw said...

Oh Rissy . . . How exciting, $$$ when you weren't expecting it. I'm proud of you and I'm gald you're proud of yourself. It would be nice if we could all see ourselves as others see us (peeps we love anyway) You're AWESOME!!

Bri said...

YAY!!!! I am so proud of you!!! You are amazing! I love you!

Mandi said...

Proud of you. Live it up!

Kabammi said...

Oh my flip woman! Congrat-u-freakin-lations! :) I am so stinking excited for you!

Clarissa Fidler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jjfid said...

I am Thrilled for you Clarissa! Loved this post... especially the part reflecting about your thoughts a year ago and how you made it to now! I am grateful that You are my "first born niece in the wilderness!!" Bonk! "I'm a birdy" :-) :-) :-D Love you xoxo <3 <3 <3 Auntie