determined to stay on this road...because i have seen the end of it, and it is magnificent


i've been watching my thoughts, considering all of your kind words,
listening to this, this, this, and this....

all of this has brought me to a place of determination. a place of acceptance that
the road ahead will be challenging and will test my soul because, let's face it,
i am facing my biggest fears. what are my fears? 
i'm afraid that my head may actually be empty and void of any intellect;
i'm afraid of being misunderstood;
i'm afraid of not being able to contribute to essential life conversations;
i'm afraid of missing beauty that is perhaps hidden from me.

somehow school enables me to face all of these fears.
perhaps this is why i love it so much: it takes my entire being--head, heart, soul.
in the end i find i have nothing to fear. 
there is indeed a brain inside this skull, and a heart too.
i understand more than i think i do, and others delight in hearing my point of view.
i contribute my honest heart.
and i always find beauty beyond what i could have ever imagined.

i'm on this academic's a long and ambitious road.
i feel like closing my eyes tight every time i walk out the door
and enter a classroom filled with "experts." at times all i can do is hold tight:
my books are never far from me. my calendar is filled with deadlines and goals.
i reach out to more books than required to help me on this journey.
i remind myself that this experience is for me, and no one else.
i only have to prove myself to myself. write what i want to write.

and, yes, i have seen the end of this road.
i can imagine it as i drive away from campus...
the end of this road is filled with joyous tears and the sensation
that i can continue on as many roads as i desire.
because i am determined. and that's enough.

{photos from our walk in derbyshire, england this summer}


N said...

You are really so profound, Ann Marie. I don't think I have ever read anyone's words that I related so much to. I am going through a similar thing. I know you don't believe that your mind is null of any intellect, because all you have to do is read through this beautiful blog that have inspired so many and especially myself to know that you are indeed an educated, knowledgeable, and wise person. I wish you the best of luck on your road to magnificence.

Nat xx

RetreatingAndAdvancing said...

What are you studying, if I may ask? Language&Literature? Enjoy the road, it's often as good as the end of it ;)

Derbyshire totally reminds me of Ireland!

Ann Marie said...

I'm studying English Literature. Currently in a class about the 20th Century American Objectivists which sent my brain into a serious seizure...I think I'm coming out of it, and beginning to find my voice again. I'm also in a Restoration British Literature course which is more up my alley, and it's been great so far :)

Unknown said...

What wise and insightful words!
May the road rise to meet you.


Anonymous said...

Studying literature was one of my dreams. Unfortunately i've never made it to university...but you never know. When I'll be old and I'll retire I'll go. You can do it. I guess it's really hard, but you are brilliant, you'll do good.

Sea Angels said...

Its the unexpected on the road...the turn off.... the no entry sign...the roadworks.... Hecate! a cross road.. its the stuff that makes you think wow! good or bad... it stays with you forever..fabulous memory's fabulous days xxxx

Jen said...

Beautiful and inspiring. And interesting: yours is the second blog I've read today with photographs of pathways on them and a reference to Tolkien. Hmm, perhaps I should be on the lookout for adventure :D

Best of luck in school. Yes it IS a hard road (one I'm on myself) but it will be worth it!

Happy weekend,

kylie said...

i absolutely adore learning, studying and all things school. i miss it terribly. enjoy it. i'm grateful for books and the ability to keep learning beyond the classroom :)

Cindy said...

chills.... i have major chills. you practically wrote what i've been thinking for the past two years. i'm just finishing up my MA in lit and thinking of PhD programs. school enables me to face those fears as well and it takes my entire being to succeed. thank you. you just reminded me how great writing is outside of the library.

Anonymous said...

You are inspiring Ann Marie.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Beautiful pictures and deep words :)

Ruthie Redden said...

Beautiful images & wonderful story telling words. Don't be afraid, you are you and you shine ;-)

ps: thank you for visiting x

Marte Marie Forsberg said...

I love it! You inspire me as always dear Ann;)

Cobalt Violet said...

You are a beautiful writer.
It is a gift. A beautiful beautiful mind.

Unknown said...

beautiful finding you via junkaholique...i was sure you were a welsh country girl! in fact, we are practically neighbors.
poetic, pausing gorgeous world of images and words.
thank you!

Richard Goode said...

Utterly beautiful.
And the end IS magnificent... but then again, it is not really the end; just a crest of a hill and the blaze of sunshine. And you will climb the stile with beating heart and see the lane stretch further on and on... and THAT is its glory... and your magnificence.