The Universe Loves Courageous People

I debated this week whether to share a bit of good news here or not. I wasn’t sure if it was the right forum, or if it would come across as overly sentimental or boastful. But ultimately, I decided if there were any place to share this news, it would be here.
 
I first came up with the idea for Aiming for Okay in Cleveland, Ohio eleven months ago. The name didn’t exist yet, just the idea. In the months leading up to that trip my mind orbited around one thing and one thing only: writing. And beyond that, using writing as a tool to help myself and to hopefully help others. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it, but I knew I needed to say something, that I was supposed to say something. I knew that I had to share my story and my experiences, because even if it helped just one person feel a little more normal, a little more okay, then whatever fear or shame or embarrassment I had to walk through to get here would all be worth it. A little over three months later, Aiming for Okay was born, and I started writing again for the first time in almost a decade.
 
But like a good human, I wanted more: more writing, more reading, more fellowship from the community of readers and writers. Through an almost inexhaustible list of serendipitous events and encounters along with an insane amount of tears and hard work, I am excited to share I’ve been accepted to The University of the South’s Master of Fine Arts program for Creative Writing.

I'd love to say I was overjoyed when I found out, but in reality, the first thing I thought was, Oh no, they must be having financial troubles and are expanding the program to make more money. (Otherwise how would I have gotten in?!) My second thought was, What have I done? But I sent my deposit and they cashed it, so that's that. We are now joined in holy academic matrimony.
 
Life as I know it today will be almost unrecognizable to me in a few short weeks. I quit my job, I’m moving out of my home, and I’m throwing every last atom of caution to the wind. I’m going all in, and I’m terrified.
 
What if I’ve made a mistake? What if I’m poor? What if this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing? What if everyone at school is better than me?
 
But what if I do it anyway?
 
I’m terrified of being wrong, but I’m more afraid of thinking I’m always right. I’m terrified of financial uncertainty, but I’m more afraid of defining myself by the size of my paycheck. I’m terrified of failing, but I’m more afraid of playing it safe. I’m terrified of what others will think, but I’m more afraid of selling myself short.
 
A friend told me today (shortly after pile driving an entire bag of trail mix alone in a grocery store parking lot out of the sheer terror of my decisions), “The Universe loves courageous people.” So I’m doing it, whatever it is. Because there really is no going back. There is only forward. Life can be as terrible or as amazing as you want it to be. I know, I’ve tried both.

I don’t know how this is all going to turn out. I don’t know how anything is going to turn out. It’s not my job to know. My job is really just to show up for life, listen to the voice in my gut (and not the one in my head), ask for help when I need it, and to give away as much of what I know has helped me to anyone else who wants it.