I'm kinda depressed.
I know I'm not supposed to be. I know I am supposed to be full of joy and excitement that I have completed my grad program and graduate next week and am gonna go out and scream, "Here I am, Hollywood!"
But really, I am emotional and get annoyed with everyone and spend most of my time sleeping. And yes, I promise that I'm excited too. I'm proud of myself. I'm full of joy. But I'm also pretty sad. No one talks about how sad leaving film school can be and they should.
For the past two years, I've invested everything I could into USC's John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television. I was a student worker. I was a departmental assistant. I took extra units. I obsessed over every script I wrote like they were tiny kittens I loved and wanted to raise to adulthood. (I'm a cat lady, not a baby lady.) And almost anytime someone asked me for anything, I said, "Yes." I said, "How could I help?" I said, "I would love to."
Because I really have loved it.
I've never felt more myself than these past two years. I've never been happier or worked harder than my time at USC. And it's because I really love it here. (Still refuse to talk about it in the past tense.) More than I ever expected to. I love my cohort mates. I love my professors. I love my classes. I love my jobs. I love that everyday, I get to be a writer in a community of writers. And not just a community of writers, but the perfect community of writers for me.
I found my tribe. I found my village.
But now I have to walk away and I just don't want to.
I realize that I sound kinda whiny. I realize that this isn't some Big Terrible Ending. It's a Wonderfully Dope Beginning. I have so much to look forward to after commencement, I really do. I'm not lamenting my future. But I do think I'm grieving the end of a very beautiful, very magical time. And also a very stressful and emotional time too.
I mean, I put all other aspects of my life on hold so I could throw myself into this MFA program. When non-school friends (is it sad I call them that?) would ask me, "So what else is going on?" I would just stare at them blankly. What do you mean? For two years now, I haven't had anything else going on. I ate, slept, and breathed grad school. I'm not sure that was always the healthiest choice. But it was the one I made. I'm happy I made it.
I have no regrets.
I got to live out my dream every day for two years. And if I am lucky and work hard, I may get to live out my dream for the rest of my life. I know that is a rare thing that is promised to no one. So in all of my whining and fits of crying, I'm trying to remember I shouldn't be sad.
I should be grateful.
I got to do something I love with people I love everyday for two years. And that's more than most folks get in a lifetime. So yeah, I'm sad. I'm excited. I'm full of joy and hope.
But I'm also a grateful heart.