TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.

Grad school

I knew the letter was at home around noon, my boyfriend texted me it had arrived. I had a small panic attack at my desk, and then told myself that I had waited for three months, I could wait a few more hours. I pushed it out of my my thoughts as much as possible and went about the rest of my day at work, losing myself in the tedium of my job. After work I went to the gym, because I was determined to stick to my schedule, and pushed myself harder than usual while I was not thinking about the letter back at my house. I let my focus go once I got on the bus home, thinking about all the things I would have to do if I got in to grad school, then thinking about how I would have to tell everyone that I didn't get into grad school. I was not really listening to the music in my headphones. I got off the bus and I realized I was only a few blocks away from finding out. I could feel how cold it was outside, I could see the sun setting in the west, I could hear all the traffic of the street. I stopped at the bottom of the  steps up to my house. I could see my hand reach out to the doorknob and unlock the door with my keys. I stepped inside. My boyfriend came up to me, he had put the letter away and tried to be affectionate. I did not want to be affectionate I wanted to open the envelope. It was strange how much I cared about opening this envelope now, after months of imagining opening it and being accepted/rejected in my imagination. He gave me the envelope and I took to the bedroom, I didn't want anyone to see me open this. I don't like when people are watching me if I think I might cry. I opened the envelope.

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It's disappointing for sure. But I told myself when I applied that an MFA is not going to make an artist. Writing will. So that's what I'll do. I'll keep writing. I'll keep pushing myself. 

What a coincidence

Bradley Manning