One other thing that Tommy and I were to bond over was the difficulty we had in choosing which colleges to attend. He had a wide array of options after applying to music schools all over the country. He took a lot of weekend trips to Boston, New York, and Miami, and eventually wound up at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
I had hoped to go to either Northwestern University or UCLA. Northwestern appealed to me because I loved Chicago, and because I had a mental image of me walking out of a café on a street corner during a Chicago winter, waving at my friends wearing trendy clothes as I left down the sidewalk. UCLA appealed to me because the girl I dated the summer before went there, and she made it seem like fun.
In the end, these two, as well as NYU turned me down. My remaining options were Boston University, University of California- Santa Barbara, University of Missouri- Colombia, and Pepperdine. Boston and Pepperdine had big names and solid reputation. Santa Barbara actually received the highest academic rankings out of all of them. Mizzou boasted one of the nations top journalism programs in the nation, and that was something I wanted to do with my life.
It took me until the evening of the decision deadline date to make my choice, and even then it was difficult. The hardest part was saying no to schools I would reject, because when I did that, I would completely end the possibility of whatever could’ve happened there, the friends I would’ve had, the girls I would’ve dated. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Boston and my chance to go to school near Tommy, or to cancel Mizzou and my ambitions of inheriting Anderson Cooper’s journalistic throne. I had started reading some philosophy books that talked about parallel universes and I realized that night I would have to destroy three universes.
I thought long and hard and listed all the pros and cons. I prayed about it. I wondered what it was that I wanted to do with the rest of my life and how the school I went to would help. I asked one of my more reliable teachers for advice. All of this was necessary; I was about to destroy some universes. On the night of the deadline, I went online, and committed to attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall. I decided the combination of it being the cheapest, and highest ranked should win. It was a bit closer to San Diego than I would’ve liked, but from what I knew about Santa Barbara- and most of that was from my beloved TV show Psych, it was a pretty nice place. They didn’t have a journalism major, so I decided I would study both Film and Communication.
Little did my friend know that her question would prompt me to begin ambitiously pining that question. I had been discovering that our lives contain stories, are stories, and are part of a bigger story, and connecting with these stories and their Author results in a life really being life.
Over the course of a month and a week in Argentina, I would spend nights in my homestay without internet just typing furiously away my story. It didn’t feel like work at all, it was as natural as stream of consciousness writing is. When I finished, I wound up with over 200 pages on Microsoft Word. Single spaced.
What I had was my story on paper. It was a story about redefining love, rediscovering faith, and releasing hang-ups. It's a story worth telling, as is anyone's who pays attention to story in their lives.
In a culture so focused on facts and arguments, it's important that we don't lose sight of how humans really experience the world: through story.
This is my story. I'm just putting it out there. There will be some moments I look back on fondly, and there will be some moments where I will be very vulnerable with you.
I will be posting a bit from my story everyday. It's a long read, what I wrote. This will probably be a lot more manageable.
Thanks for following along.
The story begins on 30 January. Subscribe via RSS.