“Every so often you will go nuts. All of a sudden the cornfields get you.” – Kurt Vonnegut, on teaching at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
When I first came to Iowa, I was exhausted, riding hard off my first heartbreak. I had just turned 24. I put my dog to sleep. I spent the first few nights in my new house crying until I slept.
People trickled in. School started. I was full of anxiety and convinced at times that this was all a terrible mistake – Iowa’s for accepting me, mine for coming. I read, I wrote. I made friends. There was a moment in the second semester when I found my aesthetic, located my voice inside of all the other voices. I kept writing. I realized that these people around me were incredible. The year turned over, more people arrived, more kindred spirits by the impossible dozens. I wrote more and more. I finished a book-length thesis. I graduated. The year turned, again. Another wave of people, wonderful. I should have known.
These last few months, I’ve been so sad about the idea of leaving Iowa City. Then I realized that even if I stayed, it wouldn’t matter. The thing I had here was finite. I couldn’t hold onto it – it was already gone. But new adventures are coming. In fact, they’re already here. (Thanks, Six Feet Under.)
And so, my beautiful creatures: thank you for being in my life. Thank you for reading my stories and letting me read yours. Thank you for tolerating my cheesiness. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for teaching me and loving me and comforting me. Thank you for being yourselves. I am honored to know you. I love you.
And now: everything else.