It is coming to an end, my MFA. A week from Saturday, I will be finished.
I wrote to my friend about our loss of this process so sacred, but with the gain of knowledge and motivation and friendship.
I met her two years ago when we were new students. We met drinking vodka on the terrace, talking as if we’d always been friends, laughing our asses off.
Since then, we have helped each other move, shared two fourths of July, one Thanksgiving. We have traveled to Tampa and LA and Milwaukee and the prairie. We have created a writing group that she brings cheese to and I bring vodka to. We have laughed and cried and shared every emotion in between. We have shared our selves with each other. We have intersected our writing lives.
I call her my MFA wife and we think it’s funny but everyone else is confused because she is married to a man. “What is your exact relationship?” a girl on the prairie asked and we said, “it’s complicated” because how do you explain a kinship so deep it’s as if you knew each other through all her previous versions, even though you didn’t?
I was writing the introduction to my graduation reading and it got away from me, all the thank yous I had to make to all the people who became my family when I felt like an orphan. Soon my introduction was half my allotted time because I have so many people to thank. I have so many mentors and friends who helped me through this: not just the school part, but the rest-of-life part. The divorce and getting a place of my own and procuring health insurance and having every emotion hit me and writing through all of it.
I’m leaving soon to pick up a friend from the airport and then I will do laundry and pack and then, before you know it, I will be at my last residency and I will bawl my eyes out because this process which shaped me so much is over but also, I will collect addresses and twitter handles and keep in touch with these people who, more than any program, are the reason I’ve kept my head above.
I am finishing up my Master’s degree, not feeling a master in anything in particular but feeling a lot closer to it than I ever was before. For that, I am thankful.