Saying Yes / by Christina Rosalie

The summer rain is falling slantwise against the open window glass. The sills are damp, the view a duotone of green and grey: foliage and clouds. In my new studio the window looks out on an apple tree, Norway beeches, and beyond the cloud cover, the mountains not so very far off. I’ve spent most of the morning here, working, and I love this new space so very much. I love how I can move from painting to words and back; how the book is taking shape now more quickly, my ideas knitting together from one day to the next. It's happening.


Now for the news:

I will be going to graduate school full time, starting at the end of August.

It’s an MFA in Emergent Media (web and graphic design combined with the technologies and storytelling mediums that are emerging from the future.) It’s an opportunity for me to be at the forefront of field that is new and growing; and to shape a new career that is lucrative, creative, and complementary to what I already do. This has been in the works for a while...this shift...but I've said very little about it here because I didn't want to jinx, or speak too soon. Last year, doing part time work, discovered how much I was into this field; how I naturally had an eye for color and design, and for shaping a vision, or ad campaign.

It took me awhile to give myself permission to consider perusing a new career; a financially viable career; a fast-pasted, demanding career. (I've shared before how it has taken me a long time to shake off my father's altruistic expectations for me as a teacher. Whew. What a process!) It also took me awhile to dream up a career that would complement writing, maybe even sustain it, instead of detracting from it (as teaching has always done.)

So I'm in. I'm going.

Of course it is terrifying. Programming languages + me? Ha. Virtual worlds? Video editing? Pure crazy.

But I have never backed down because something is hard. And this is exciting-hard. It's thrilling.

I’ve written so much about the endless tug-of-war that goes on in my head about being a mother and being more than a mother. About being an creator in my own right; a writer, an artist, a shaper of my own financial future. And about being a mother who gets down on the floor with her boys every single day: plays legos, wrestles, builds things, paints, reads stories, bakes bread. Of course I’m torn. When making this decision I thought of my boys in 18 years from now. I asked their future selves what they would think if I went for this, or didn’t. I asked them what they would resent more: me super busy through two years of their childhoods, or me unfulfilled and holding that resentment deeply.

The answer seemed clear.

They offered me really generous funding and I had to say yes or no within twenty-four hours (I applied late in the game, after deadline) and everything was topsy-turvy yesterday and the day before, deciding. T and I stayed up late, late, whispering about our futures and looking at calendars and daily schedules that seemed impossible to navigate. And then my inlaws and friends joined forces to say: we want this for you. We'll make this happen with you. (They are amazing.)

So I said yes.

I can’t believe where this year has taken me; us. It’s astounding. And awesome.