Would you believe that I specialized in religious symbolism in both American & European Literature – primarily the romantic era… in college.
Sigh… that feels like a lifetime ago.
I had an English teacher in High School, Mrs. Varner… I loved her. She assigned a project once where we were asked to create a “masterpiece” of our favorite authors of all time. I chose Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. I hand wrote and crafted letters from these authors to their beloveds and gathered them in a journal of sorts. I soaked the letters in tea and burned the edges with flames. I made the book by hand with lace and old fabrics. I wish I knew where that book was. I was so proud of it. I had so much fun creating this book and finding the secrets each author held.
After trying my hand at Speech Pathology (woah too much science for my creative brain), Elementary & Special Education (God bless teachers, my mom’s the best there is) and later Marketing (which I did choose as a minor), I made, to date, one of the hardest decisions of my life and registered as an English Major the day before the first day of my Junior year at the University of West Florida. I really had no idea what I was doing but I followed my gut for the first time in my life, really, and LEAPT.
Oh and it was so good. I remember studying Emerson and loving him. I loved his words how they danced and felt so light and free. It was fun and romantic and beautiful. I went through a rough break up with my my since-freshman-year-in-high-school boyfriend and took a poetry class. I poured my heart into a book of writing that still sits hidden at the top of my guest room closet. I wrote the first half of a screen play about the forgotten POWs of the Korean War. I studied Paradise Lost for an entire 16 weeks and fell in love with God all over again. I had no idea what I would do with an English Writing degree but I figured if I followed where both my heart and my gut were leading it would all be okay.
I bought this gorgeous print from Chelsea Petaja (wife to the ever talented Tec Petaja) tonight and the whimsy of the letters that make this beautiful sentiment of thankfulness just made me so happy. And sitting here by the fire with my coffee staring at it just took me back to a place where I remembered feeling so free, so brave and so unsure of what lied ahead. And I didn’t care. : ) I just loved being there.
Cheers to that.