Monday, October 5, 2009

Life actually equals risk.

Today was monumental. It was the first day that the whole theme of this blog, life=risk, actually meant something to me. It starts out with a girl whose struggles woke me up to the world around me.

I met Samantha Bahl during one of the first few weeks at school. She was one of those girls who sucked you in with her abnormal and beautifully rebellious behavior. From the first sentence she spoke, I learned two things about her. One, she was different. Two, she didn’t care.

“I wouldn’t just randomly walk into my dorm if I were one of ya’ll,” She warned the room full of girls that just happened to stop in her dorm while walking down the hall. “’Cos I’ll probably be naked.”

She wore no make up on her carmel skin, her black hair short and straight, true to it’s natural in form. She was dressed in Addidas wind-pants and one of those white spandex shirts that I was always afraid to wear because of how “revealing” they were. But like I said, Samantha didn’t care.

She made me curious. I didn’t think she would like me, nor did I think any of the other girls in that room would. I listened to folk music, and they knew how to do the jerk. To my surprise, however, they majority of the girls in the room remembered my name and added me on Facebook within a few days. Every time they see me they smile and scream, “MARY!” I thought that would be the end of our communication, that we would exist as acquaintances, and not much more. I’ve learned that people need space, and forgotten that people need friends.

However, Samantha ended up asking me to join her for lunch, and I agreed. But then I slept in and she forgot what room I was in and the plan ultimately crashed and burned. When I found out that she was a graphic design major I asked her to help me sketch out a tattoo, which she agreed to. Perhaps that will come later, but first Samantha has to figure some things out.

Like whether or not she has cancer.

It began with a heart attack last week, and a stomach pain doctors thought was maybe a really bad kidney infection. Come to find, though, it was a “watermelon” or a tumor in Samantha’s stomach. She’s been transferred to another hospital to run more tests to determine if the tumor is cancerous.

That’s when I realized that I am no longer in high school. I’m diving into a time where friends get cancer. Not only that, but my friends are getting married, having babies and God forbid, even miscarriages. I’m at a time where my parents get sick and need surgeries, and I am no longer the center of attention. It’s a time of self-sacrifice, which I wasn’t expecting.

I’m in a time where no one really knows what they want to do with themselves or what to believe in. While in high school, I thought that only losers didn’t know what to do with themselves and questioned things, but now I’m coming to find that that is human nature. Things are becoming less black and white and more like one of those annoying neon-colored abstracts my friend Aaron hates so much.

I toured the Dallas Morning News this afternoon with some fellow Mass Communication majors. None of us were truly intrigued, which is sad because we are supposed to be the “cream of the crop” of the freshman journalism majors. Out of ten students, only one is a print-journalism major, two want to be art majors, and two want to transfer at semester. That leaves only five who… well, I don’t know what they’re doing. But the point is that the majority of us truly don’t like where we’re at.

Despite the fact that I am attending Abilene Christian University, a “prestigious” if you will, university with a kick ass journalism program, for an extremely low cost, in addition to working as an Editor on their newspaper as a freshman and assisting in web-development for a major department on campus, I still don’t know if I want to be here. Everyday I run through what I can do to attend a different university or art school. I don’t know what my problem is. I don’t even know if that is a problem. But it’s sort of eating me alive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not depressed or miserable by any means. I have had a great time here, and ACU is an amazing school. I just feel like a piece of me is being neglected when I neglect art, like I let a piece of me in Maryland when I toured an art school there. Sitting in my Journalism and Mass Communications class is not misery, or boring. It’s just. Is. I don’t hate it and I don’t like it. It’s just this class that I’m in that has no impact on me. The teacher is wonderful and such an asset to this University. Being taught by her is an honor. Admitting that her class is boring should be blasphemy to any journalism major. Being in my art class-even at 8 a.m.-is thrilling. I look forward to studying and love every aspect of it. And it’s art history! A subject I have loathed for years! Turns out that with the right teacher, I am enchanted by it. It is the only class that I look forward to.

When I meet people, if they don’t immediately ask me where I’m from, they ask me if I’m an art major. Apparently, I just look like an art major. You know why? Because I should be an art major. Even my face thinks so. So why am I not an art major?

I promised myself a long time ago that I was not going to major in art at a University. Just not going to happen unless God does some major mind-set changes in me. Second, to go to art school, I need to go to the best one possible, which is either going to be in New York or Maryland. I know that’s arguable, but my mind won’t change about that. To bring up the point that I should major in journalism for my career’s sake and just taking a ton of electives in art would be to miss my point entirely. I don’t. Want. To be. A. Journalism major.

I don’t read newspapers. I don’t care about what’s going on. Frankly I think it’s a waste to keep up with everything (I know I probably just lost a few readers and probably frustrated my parents, it’s my true opinion. For now anyway. Maybe I’ll care later on in life) and keeping up with the world is essential for any journalist.

I can write well, but that doesn’t mean I should major in journalism. I love getting to know people and I like the fast-paced environment of journalism, and would kill for a job at a magazine. As far as studying journalism? I’d rather not spend thousands of dollars learning about something I find boring and yet stressful at the same time. I’m interested in how to craft words together to interest people, and to tell stories. That’s what I love to do. But apparently that doesn’t mean I should major in journalism.

What I learned today is that life isn’t about money. I knew that before, but I didn’t understand it. My choice of major, school, and industry have all been driven by money. I’m good at writing, so I can make money off of it. I have lots of scholarships here, which means God’s providing, so I should OBVIOUSLY go to ACU. I have journalism scholarships and have been paid to write before, so I should be journalism major.

Coming to ACU was not, and is not a mistake. The opportunities I have here and experiences I have had are exceptional. I am so blessed. If I had never come here I would have gone to art school thinking, “But what would a Christian school be like?” “What are guys at a Christian school like? Surely they are more Godly and more for me.” What I have found is that Christian schools are great, but my heart is never going to stop wanting art school. It’s never going to stop wanting an adventure.

I still don’t know what I want to do, and I have some time to figure it out. I have things outside of my own desires that will play into my ultimate decision. God, family, money…all these things I will have to consider. But how much consideration do they deserve? I don’t know. I’ll have to figure it out. Maybe I won’t transfer. Maybe God will teach me how to deal with this, and let me make the right decision. Whatever I decide to do He will take care of me. I am not afraid. But this new look on life is very…new.


Marvelous Maggie said...

Love it. That's all I have to say really.

I love you, Mary! And I'm sure your figure it all out.


ashlee said...

This was amazing.

I'm definitely praying for your friend, hardcore.

And if you want my oppinion, I say ALWAYS follow your heart. You only live once so you may as well do everything and anything that your heart desires. God's going to be with you in whatever path you choose.

If art is what you want to be doing, then art is what you SHOULD be doing! :)

It's your life and your life only! Live it the way you want to.

I know it's not that easy, but maybe it's a start.

Great blog! Miss you.

shelbyisms. said...

Mary, this is really cool.
Really, this post was awesome.

Your friend will be in my thoughts.

Kait said...

Wow this was a powerful post Mary. That is what college is all about-struggling to be brave enough to chase your dreams. I am and arts major (communication/graphic design) and I was terrified to persue it and some days I think I should switch to something sensible that I know I can succeed at but we only have one life. Live it in your pursuit of happiness. Best of luck!