Saturday, December 30, 2006

Don't worry: unlike my blog, I edited and proofed my grad school writing samples before I submitted them.

My friend, Robert, reminded me that I had only 2 more days to write something in my blog for the month of December. "You don't want that blog to have a blank spot on the right side where all the months are listed," he wrote in his email to me. I considered telling him that I can easily pre-date my blog entries; I needn't write something in December to post it as a December entry. But, that's beside the point. ...I have been a bit neglectful of my Daily Observations.

Ever since the wedding (and before) I've been writing a lot, you just haven't been privy to what I've been writing. The only people who will get to read my recent work are Chris, the folks who have helped me edit and proof it, my mom, and the admissions office of Northwestern University.

In the past, I have swung from either divulging too much information, or too little. I was very private as a youth. No one, except two friends, knew that my parents got a divorce until the absolute last moment. And only then it was because I was forced to divulge the info to my friend, Andrea, who wanted to drop my Christmas present off at my house, not knowing that I had for some time been living with my mom in a small apartment across town. I felt this powerful need to make everyone think I was okay and normal, when of all things I was definitely not okay.

Well, I am okay now, but mostly because I've grown to realize that I'm not normal. None of us are. With this realization has come liberation. With this liberation has come the desire to shout this from the mountaintops. Unfortunately, all too often, this puts you (yes, you!) or some other semi-acquaintance in the corner of a party hearing stories of how the supplements I take for my iron deficiency give me heartburn and make me poo black.

As my friend, Jill, would say, "T.M.I." Too much information.

In a way, this blog is part of that journey in the Land of Getting Personal. For me, it’s about finding that fine line between things I shouldn't be so scared to share with the world (earnest writing, for example) with things that I should not (see blackened poo tidbit, above).

I've always been a terrified closet writer and also had an extreme fear of looking stupid. Anyone who knows me is probably thinking, "But you look stupid all the time, Carrie! Shouldn't you be used to it by now?" That's different. That's on purpose to make people laugh. The idea of doing something earnestly and having people think its stupid or silly is petrifying to me; it scares me into inaction. Inaction makes for a pretty boring and fruitless life, especially when what I want to do with my life (write) is that which I find terrifying (having people read my writing).

As such, I have begun to make a real effort to Get Over It. Part of that effort is this blog—a place where I am forced to post my half-baked story ideas and be accountable for them. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to post under my name, so I could write some juicy tidbits that I didn’t mind folks knowing were from me, but as it is, I can’t post anything I don’t want people to know I’m thinking.

Which should make you wonder about all the things I’m thinking that I’m not posting.

My point of all this is that today I officially applied to graduate school for an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage. This program only accepts 12 people. Yep, that’s One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve. When I discovered the program earlier this year, I kept it a secret that I was going to apply. After all, the odds of getting in are not in one’s favor. But then I realized that if I want this, really want it, and if I was going to have any chance whatsoever of beating those odds, I was going to have to admit that I really wanted it to myself. Once I admitted it to myself I realized that was the hardest part of it all. Telling other people was a breeze.

So, in the end, I want to let my readers know that now that all of the official writing is over (until Fall semester, when I am Number Seven of Twelve, of course) I will be back to making regular posts in this blog.

And, thank you, whoever you are, for stopping in. And, bless you, kind stranger, if you check back regularly. My old private, too-afraid-to-take-herself-seriously-in-just-the-teensiest-way would have said I don’t care if you or anyone reads this. But, who I am now would be lying if I told you that your presence didn’t matter.