Look. Listen. I’m what they call “mid-life.” I’m what they call “late-blooming.” And even though I was just an “average-Joe” and a “working-mother,” I happened to be in the “right-place-at-the-right-time” when the “opportunity-presented-itself.” I was “ready-willing-and-able” to “follow my dreams.” I’m lucky. I went back to school. I went to Goddard College.
When I was accepted to Goddard’s M.F.A.W. program I thought I was getting a chance to reward my tenacity, breathing new life into that woman who’d held on to her desires for so long they were starting to suffocate. I was afraid that maybe I didn’t even want it anymore, but part of me felt like it was my last chance. I called myself a writer, and I would never quit expressing myself creatively, but I had to gain more skills (and better idioms) if I was going to do any “emerging” in my field. Besides, I wanted to add the proof of all my scribing to the end of my name. I thought that was all I needed. I thought that would satisfy.
It wasn’t until I arrived at Goddard that I realized I had to face my personal truths before I could even begin to hear those words inside of me. I wasn’t alone in this. My colleagues and I clung to each other—vulnerable, alien pilgrims stowed away on a ship named Pioneer. You’re never alone at Goddard, honing your singular self, and I’ll never be alone outside of Goddard either, especially now that I know where I’m from.
My Goddard education was transformational, spiritual, personal. I had another me inside of myself. One I’d always felt deep in my middle, but couldn’t quite locate or nourish. Goddard helped me save her, and encouraged me to find the right ways to hand her a mirror and a megaphone. Echoing and amplified, I have a newfound purpose for her stories—I made them mine. I’m more awake and alive than ever, and I feel prepared to share my art, my education, myself, with compassion, knowledge, and courage.
Sure, I’ll put those letters after my name, but I didn’t just graduate Goddard College with an M.F.A. in creative writing. I’m lucky. I was reborn.