Friday, September 10, 2010

I have started back to school for yet another year.

I have started back to school for yet another year. I am hoping, and have good reason to believe, that this will be the last year. It has been strange to go back after almost two years away from everything, and I mean seriously far away from everything. I'm only 23, but going to school with 18 year olds makes me feel about a million years old. I don't know the pop culture references, or the new lingo, or have the cool clothes, or know how to work those phone/computer things everyone has now. Also, I'm married, so to them I think I might as well be 30. Honestly, I look at the random 50-somethings that show up in my classes from time to time, being taught by people half their age, and I do not know how they do it. A lot of determination I think, and a good sense of humor.

All that being said, I am actually really enjoying the learning part of all of this, even more so than the first time around I think. I am really glad that I chose to study the things I chose to study, even though they will, almost certainly, provide me with no practical job skills. Lately I have been thinking, wait... why am I studying this stuff? I mean I know I chose English and theatre because I like them, but... why do I like them? I have loved to read for as long as I can remember, and, probably as a result of that, or a few genes from my dad, I have always been a passable writer. I got started with acting when I was in elementary school and just kept it up all through middle and high school. I guess it makes sense that I would just continue doing what I've always been doing when I got to college, but I think there is a deeper reason for my interest in these things, because heaven knows there is no practical motive.

Lately, I mean in the past year or so, I have been writing recreationally a little more than usual, always non-fiction or poems that have origins in my experiences, never made-up stories that require levels of creativity and ingenuity which I just don't have. Even though I have been writing for years, I have never been so much as tempted to try writing fiction [this is actually getting somewhere eventually, I mean it], which I always just chalked up as another one of my many insecurities, but which I now think has something to do with my real reason for studying the things I am studying, which is: stories. Not just stories in the sense of plays or novels, but even, and especially, the often unwritten, unknown, important stories of people's lives. The fact that novels and plays, about fictional people and overarching themes and underlying meanings, even exist screams that there is something more important about our lives, too. I think the only difference between our every day, mundane lives and the extraordinary lives of people in books is that great writers know how to eloquently express common events in such a way that reveals their true complexity.

I guess that is why I have been pouring over books since before I could even read, and why I fell in love with theatre before I even understood how it worked, because if the people on the stage and in the stories matter, then my story and my life matters, means something, is worth telling, too. Really, I guess that is why I blog, because all the stories I have ever read have convinced me that every person's ordinary life has a deeper meaning that is worth discovering, and if everyone else's does, then shouldn't mine, even with all its insecurities and mistakes, mean something extraordinary too? Not only my choice of major, but the movies I watch, the music I listen to, the photographs I take, the books I read, my writing and journaling, all of it, is driven by the conviction that, when I die, the life I have lived will be a story about God's seamless weaving of himself into each of my days, and that every relationship, mistake, joy, and heartache will matter.

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