Archive for the ‘Scholarships’ Category


Three, four weeks?  How long has it been?  At least three.  I think I first looked four ago, but then ago four weeks, I said, ah, but it says it takes six to fill out.  Now I know why.  Egads, man!  That anal student mentality is not for me, no way, no sir, no how.  That must win at all costs, that’s not me.  I want to get better at writing, yes, but do I want to kill people to do so?  Nah, the hitman life is not for me.

Have now spent at least three weeks working on one scholarship.  Became numb.  Lived fully off adrenaline.  Had to buy a student planner to keep track of what needed to be done every day.

Panicky.  It’s too late, but I can’t help but feel rushed.  Sent it off a few days early, to spare!  But wondering if I skipped a question and they’ll just throw out the application, which not only I, but four other women, and one man, worked our butts off to complete.  Three references, down to the wire.  Three lovely women doing those references.  Saying they believed in me, whether or not it may be true.  I hope it is.  I read their references after they sealed the envelopes, as they all sent me a copy.  People who believe in another, it’s amazing, astronomical, unbelieveable.  Here I always thought I didn’t stand out, but at least three people remember me enough to write a page of good things.  To stand behind me.  And one woman stayed late with me while I finished panting to the finish-line.  And she helped answer stupid questions to the best of her opinion.  She was there.  Even though she doesn’t want me to leave, she was there for me.  And the man, I finally got him to be critical!  Rather than always saying, It’s perfect, I love it, don’t change a thing.  Finally, and it helped so much.  I said, Pretend it was written by someone you hate.  He said, Who, “The Gay Biker” wrote this?  Grrrr.  And I said, it was edited by “The Slave Driver.”  (Names changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

And so after all of that work.  After whining to people, calling professors, begging from others, turning myself into some sort of circus side-show of chaos, after running all over Omaha, I sent it away today.  Hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept well, didn’t know that at the time, but the moment I stepped away from the application, sat in my car, I became tiiiiired.  Oh so tired.  And my stomach growled.  I hadn’t realized how little I’d eaten, because I’d been less than hungry.  Stomach constricted.  Now filled with air.  Then something hit my eyes, and they burned, and I sniffled.  Crazy!  Emotionally deranged!  Unstable!  Overwhelmed!  To the point of being unable to get out of bed when I didn’t know what to do, to being run ragged when I did.  That is something I can forevermore live without.  Hard to be productive in that environment of Must Win. 

I pray for an interview.  These women worked their butts off for me.  One eighty-year-old writer planned to get up at five in the morning to write my reference.  She was so excited, she got up at three-thirty instead, and wrote and e-mailed all her friends. 

I have a lot of people behind me, all of us out here in Omaha.  A lot of people who have never even heard of someone applying for a Fulbright.  I never had, either, and I must say, I went to school with a lot of smart people, smarter than me.  But stifled.  We were all so stifled. 

The eighty-year-old woman, I saw her e-mails to friends.  She’d always asked my mother how my writing was coming, but I never showed her anything after the initial time, because I recognized that I needed AIR.  I’d just graduated, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I’d spent 17 and a half years in school, always being told there was only one right answer.  And I knew my creativity had been stifled out of me.  All I’d been able to do at the end was survive.  Work for money and survive.  So I bought a house.  I gave my mind freedom.  And the second it did, I had an epiphany!  I had creative muses lining up down the street.  I then ended up with a roommate, surprisingly.  I learned to say yes instead of no.  I learned and learned and learned things which were actually helpful.  I learned ME.  And then yesterday I saw what this woman had written about me.  How she hadn’t believed I could write, how she couldn’t see me as anything other than a child.  She said my mother was perfect (but didn’t know how stifling, the baby of the family, make sure she doesn’t make a single mistake ever, nor spread her wings, or have wings to spread, nowhere to spread them if she did) and she recognized that four years ago, graduating from college, I was merely a stupid little girl.  I couldn’t have stood on my own.  So scared of losing my family, the only tangible thing I knew I had, throwing myself slightly into the material world, seeking the immaterial. 

She said she was AMAZED at how much I’ve changed since I moved out.  I told her I HAD to leave, I had to be on my own, and I recognize now that I’m not as far as I need to be.  There is something else out there.  There’s a world out there which I was always told I couldn’t touch.  Bad things happened to those who tried to touch.  Like a museum curator would be standing around ready to whap our hands away from the priceless objects. 

I’m ready to become my own museum curator. 

Until recently whenever people would say what they thought of me (ones who didn’t know me, really, just saw me from the outside) they would say things that baffled me.  About how outgoing I seemed, how unique, snazzy, fun, worldly.  And I knew I wasn’t.  I guess I shed the cocoon before the butterfly knew it could fly!  And I’m still a bit of a child.  But I’m getting ever so much closer.  Closer and closer and further toward the sun.  We’ll see soon if my wings are made of wax…




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