“That doesn’t even rhyme!”

This video is insanely hypnotic.

So last week I was cleaning out my Hood College e-mail account – Hood being my second college, for those who don’t know (yep, Ringling’s my third!). I don’t open it often; it’s the account I use for Facebook, so mostly it’s full of notifications. But in cleaning it up, I found an e-mail from October, from my old art professor. This is the woman who got me to apply to Ringling. She wanted to know how I was doing. I don’t think I’ve spoken to her since I enrolled at Ringling.

After graduating Hood in 2005, and while struggling to find steady work, I thought maybe it was a good time to start looking at animation programs. Animation was what I’d always wanted to do, since I was a teenager, but life doesn’t always work out the way you intend.

My art professor had been demanding and pushed me hard while I was at Hood, and I didn’t always see eye to eye with her. But she’s the first person I went to when I needed advice on putting together my portfolio. I told her I was considering CalArts as my first choice.

She said, “You have to go to Ringling.”

I have a history of running away from challenges. Often I’m presented with great opportunities, and too often I say “no.” It’s only in the last few years that I’ve been encouraging myself to say “yes” more and more.

So this past semester, I’ve been looking back on the last few years with something very close to disbelief. I said these words in a blog post nearly three whole years ago:

The most important thing is that now I can tell my boss that yes, I will be leaving near the end of July.

Yes, I’m moving to Florida.

Yes, I’m going to art school… again.

I’m deliriously happy and scared out of my mind, all at once.

I don’t think the reality of what I’m doing really hit me until this year. Sometimes I have to say it in my head, just to assure myself it’s true. Yes, I did move to Florida. Yes, I did go to art school. Yes, after fifteen years of longing, I’m pursuing my dream. I didn’t just say I’d do it and then chicken out this time.

And it’s pretty cool to think about it. All the times I thought maybe I’d made a mistake in enrolling at Ringling. That maybe I wasn’t cut out for animation. That maybe I was wasting my money and my time, and I’d be more comfortable if I’d stayed where I was.

In four months, I will be graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design. No clue what I’m going to do just yet. But now, at least, I’m facing the future with one less mystery. Yes, I can animate. And I can survive as a creative. That’s one door that’s no longer locked to me.

I don’t have to live the rest of my life wondering “what if”. Three years of intense pain and suffering at the unfeeling hands of the Ringling CA curriculum are worth it just for that.

Happy New Year’s, all.