You know that song at the end of a movie? The one that plays as everything has been resolved, and the lead character is shown walking down the street with a huge smile and suddenly looks up at the sky. Then the camera proceeds to lift itself up into the sky with the picture slowly going to black and the credits beginning to roll. That song for me was “Shade” by Chain Wallet. I felt like my movie was ending; like the heartbreak was far behind me and only good things would be coming my way in the future as I finished my last final exam of undergrad.
I wanted to start writing this blog because I am an artist trying to learn how to write about my artwork, and in order to do that, I need to write about my life. So let me start by introducing myself. I was born in Morelia, Mexico in 1995 (sure, go ahead and exercise your brains to do the math). I grew up in Round Lake Beach, IL., but have lived all over the place: in Morelia, Florida (Leesburg & Kissimmee), Texas (Dallas & Irving), and Monmouth (IL.), and in July I will be moving to Wichita, Kansas to attend Wichita State University to work towards an MFA in Photo Media.
A week ago, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts from Monmouth College. I was an art major with a journalism minor, which explains my love for writing. I’m a first generation student trying to find her place in the world, and the first of my family to graduate with a BA, with magna cum laude being the cherry on top.
Last Sunday, I felt invincible. I felt like anything was possible and that all of my successes had reached a peak. To some, graduating from college is an expectation and may not seem like a big accomplishment, but it truly was for me and many others. For those of you who don’t know my story personally, I will tell it as I go, and there won’t be any sugarcoating, just as an fyi. I want to be true to myself, and since my artwork is so personal, maybe this story-- this short story-- can help those in similar situations.
I’m thinking back to where I was last year on this exact date. I can’t remember exactly what I was doing on the precise day, but I can remember some things that had happened. I was at home in Round Lake, sending out wedding invitations, making decorations, and dreaming of the wedding I had always wanted since I was a little girl. I wasn’t at the ideal weight that I had always imagined, but at least my hair was long enough to reach my butt and I loved it. I was sacrificing the vision of my dream wedding to make small surprises for my husband-to-be and his obsession with DC superheroes.
Today, after all the crap that started a few days before our wedding, I’m still alive. I’m healthy. I’m privileged. And I’m glowing. I have this rush of energy that I’m not too sure I would have if all of the things that happened to me over the past year didn’t occur. I’m not grateful for the failed marriage, or the deportation of my mom, or the countless nights of intoxication that I put myself through. But I am grateful for the inner strength that I was able to scrape together in order to make it out alive. I’m far from perfect, so I have no idea how I made it. But here I am, happier, healthier, and with more passion and energy than ever.