Friday, May 7, 2010

"It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw. I've gone to look for America."

Last night I was a featured reader at the monthly "Free Speech, Spoken Word, Music, and Open Mic" event at Espresso Express in Bay City. Directly afterward, I drove to my parents' house in Grosse Pointe, where I'll be living until I figure out what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my last few hours in the Bay City/Saginaw region of the state. So many great people turned up: my parents, former Cardinal Sins editors, people who teach (or have taught) at SVSU, plus a few friends I've made recently and wish I'd gotten to know earlier than I did.

And at the end of the night, my friend Ben got up to the microphone, picked up a guitar and said, "This is dedicated to Amelia." He then busted out a medley of Lady GaGa songs. (!!!)

At some point during the winter 2010 semester, I decided not to return to SVSU in the fall. And it's funny: once the decision was made, I was suddenly at peace with myself. I was happy with my decision to leave, but not particularly anxious to get going. I spent my last few months in Saginaw enjoying my classes, my job as editor-in-chief of Cardinal Sins, and the company of those I've met since I enrolled at SVSU nearly three years ago.

Quite the contrast from how I went about things during the fall 2009 semester, right? I stopped worrying about things (or--more accurately--I worried less about things). And stuff still somehow managed to fall into place. I did well in my classes, and was really proud of this semester's issue of Cardinal Sins.

And I had a hell of a lot of fun as well. I got to spend a day hanging out with Bonnie Jo Campbell when she came to campus [insert fan girl giddyness here]. I took part in a spontaneous game of kickball (never mind that I suck epically at kickball). And late one night, I helped a friend paint "the rock" outside the freshman dorms for his LGBTQ lit class. As he put it, it was our last chance to "make a mark" before I left at the end of the semester.

All's well that ends well, right? I'm glad I came to SVSU, and I'm even glad I stuck around as long as I did. But at the same time, I am content with my decision to move on.

What's next? I'm not sure. (That's right. For once, I lack a solid plan.) While I love and will never abandon writing, I'm not so sure I want to major in it. I thought about running off to save the world for a year while I figured out what I wanted to do instead, but I can't imagine not being in school for the first time since I was but a wee babe. So I'll be at Wayne State in Detroit. I can't justify going to an out-of-state school unless I find a program I love (especially since money is tight right now--my dad's no longer working full time and we lost our health insurance). I don't know what I want to do, so I figured I'd just live with my parents & get my BA from Wayne State. And I'm going to pretend I have enough money to travel. I know the I-75 a little too well, and can't picture myself spending my whole life in Michigan.

But I could be wrong. If you told a younger version of myself that I'd someday want to pursue something other than writing, she'd laugh in your face and tell you to stop telling filthy lies. :-)