Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Looking-Glass Reflections

This is Day 6 in the 31 Day Challenge. If you're joining for the first time, head over to my launch page to catch up on my background with grace. Glad you've joined!
"Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife. father, boss, etc) think you are." Philip Yancey from What's So Amazing About Grace?
Credited to Florian Meimberg
 I've been sitting on this quote for two days, gnawing on the truth of it despite the bad taste it exudes. I wish desperately this weren't true for me. I want to declare plainly that I'm in the minority. People's opinions surely have no affect. But glumly, I stare in my own mirror and reflect on my decisions. I admit, I can see a very clear distinction of "important people" influencing my life.Who is influencing them now?

Today I visited a university I'm considering for a graduate degree in creative writing. I have often thought about returning to academia, but it has merely been a fleeting thought. Until recently. I took the plunge, contacted a local university and today I went. I LOVED the department.

Allow for a moment of gushing.

There was a whole floor dedicated to English, an entire building no less! In undergrad, the English department had one office that took up maybe half a floor. I loved my professors and am so thankful for their teaching, but a whole floor! There were, I think, 60 offices for professors of an English background. Squee!

Talking to them about the project I have in mind, the degrees I'm considering (low residency MFA or full residency MA), I felt at home. My family and friends are very supportive of me pursuing this avenue, but when I sat and answered questions about a novel I want to write, I felt so much pride and excitement. Affirming. Yes, very affirming.

I walked away, though, with the problem of deciding which degree to apply for. Certainly, I could apply for both, but which one do I feel would be the best fit for me? And you know what I immediately started doing? Thinking about what others have told me about me. Yes, those influences, those most important people who are so much wiser about me than I am. I added their opinions to the scale. And I've only found myself more confused.

When it comes down to it, they will support whatever decision I make, but I have to make it. Push down the fear of failure, remember you are allowed mistakes and look in the mirror. Who does God say I am? At the core, His Beloved. Actually, bottom line. Beloved.

The grace and truth of my identity may not answer the question to which program to choose, but it stills the panic. I breathe a sigh of relief (for a moment) before continuing to research and reflect. But for that moment, I hold onto the truth and let it simmer.

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