“What was I thinking?” was the question I asked myself quite often over the past four months. This was how I felt…
I knew I was there! I knew I was sitting there and reading and walking around and driving, etc. Sometimes it was crystal clear and other times everything was a blur! But when I say I underestimated how much energy would be exerted working full-time and going back for future PhD studies…
shot it short,
miscued my intuition
I WAS BUSY!
A good busy. A purposeful busy. A busy that was full of intent but absolutely overwhelming at times. But I went back in searching for a language that boxed black women writers (in particular playwrights) within criticisms and criteria that hindered expansion and an honest representation. I chose Clark Atlanta University and their Africana Womens Studies Department.
I went into the program wanting to study black women in fiction literature. But decided to look into researching black women playwrights instead. Besides, theatre is my first love and this would give me a chance to honor the art form that got me started.
Last fall I also entered my second year of teaching elementary English Language Arts (ELA). So I confidently entered my fourth career change! But educating children during the day, on various learning levels, and then going to school in the evening until 7 and 7:30 p.m. could’ve taken a toll. And least we not forget the three teenagers living in my house!
Organization was crucial and kept me afloat. Sleeping when my body said “lay down” and closing my eyes when I was seeing double aided in my relationship with sanity as well. 🙂 After a decade or so being out of school, I managed to pull off some incredible grades! And on top of that, I put my money where my mouth was by setting an example of time management and effective studying skills for my teens.
This holiday break away from both, school and work, have given me time to not think and play a little more. I set aside self-care time everyday and just absolutely relaxed. I say to anyone considering going back “in” to DO IT! At this phase in my life I know exactly what I am looking for and a comfort-ability with rejecting, or setting aside, that which does not serve me. I think that had I been younger I would’ve wanted to take on everything and try to fit it. The one down side, but ever so manageable, is varying interpretations of work from my professors.
While they indeed have the scholarly standpoints and have read the texts several times, I have been applying the theories and critics to my personal work and have a different yet valid standpoint as well. I just didn’t know the names of everything. The only time this brought about tension was in the discussion of Alice Walker’s essay on “womanism”. My interpretation of Walker’s poetry was different from that of the professor. But how minor is that? I can argue that art is to be interpreted by the audience!
Overall, I made the right decision. I am very pleased to be in a learning environment that supports me as a black women creative. I am pleased to be learning under professors with a passion to influence and inspire. And ultimately, I am pleased to be discovering the language I was looking that demonstrated an alienation of black women playwrights to create in a holistically manner.
It’s still in the air if I will do She Chronicles this spring because I know I will be in the midst of teaching during the day and learning at night. We shall see… But for all those who may be nervous about starting or trying “something new” i.e. a new career… GO FOR IT! Do it! And don’t feel inhabited to say out loud, “what was I thinking?!”