My blog I've ignored for 2 years while attending the Brandcenter
Some of you might have seen the post a few weeks ago titled Brandcenter Copywriting Ads. In it, I displayed ads that were part of an application I submitted to The Brandcenter at VCU. The Brandcenter is a post-graduate program designed to prepare students for the world of advertising.
I found out on Friday I was accepted into the Copywriting track.
I was thrilled. Putting together this application was one of the more challenging projects of my life.
I discovered The Brandcenter last year and was distraught to find the application deadline had passed. Since they only have fall enrollment I needed to wait until January 2014 before I could even apply.
It seemed like forever. But during this waiting period, I had the great idea of starting this blog to get into the habit of writing.
When I received the email congratulating me on getting in a wave of relief rushed through me. I smiled at my phone as I read and reread the email. I began to text my wife. I promised her that I would tell her the moment I heard.
As the texts flew between us, I still was riding the high of my accomplishment, but I was also feeling something else. It was an uncomfortable something that was wandering around the back of my head. This something skulked the shadows of my subconscious. It would peek out only long enough to make its presence known before disappearing.
It started out as restlessness. It felt like my fingers and toes were falling asleep. This anxiousness evolved into a voice. It was a quiet questioning voice just above a whisper. It would appear like a puff of smoke and float around me, circling me. Barely holding its form while riding an invisible current of self-doubt. I wanted to wave it away, but it would dissipate before I could lift my arm then another would appear.
This voice was never loud. It didn’t need to shout. Instead, it relied on intimacy. The voice knew what to say to me because it was my voice that I was hearing.
“Not everyone gets their dream job. Suck it up, you big baby.”
“Why can’t you just settle on a career and stick with it?”
“Who do you think you are? Special? You’re not.”
“Are you going to do this to your loved ones?”
“You already missed your window pal.”
“You are too old for this nonsense.”
“Just take care of your family.”
“No one will ever hire you.”
“You’ve wasted your life.”
“You waited too long.”
“You’re no writer.”
“You will fail.”
I closed my eyes and squeezed my phone. The pressure didn’t silence them. The voices meshed together in an incoherent white noise that filled my brain.
“Why am I doing this?” I whispered to myself as I pressed the corner of my phone into the middle of my forehead.
Before I could answer my question, the phone rang. It was my wife. She was tired of texting and wanted to talk to me. I answered my phone with a swipe of my thumb and a weak “Hi.”
She didn’t say hi back. Instead, she blasted me with a shockwave of excitement.
“I LOVE YOU!”
“I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!”
“WE NEED TO CELEBRATE!”
“I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!”
“EVERYONE IS SO PROUD OF YOU!”
“YOU ARE GOING TO BE AWESOME AT THIS!”
“YOU SHOULD BE REALLY PROUD OF YOURSELF!”
“YOU ARE NEVER TO OLD TO START SOMETHING NEW!”
“I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL EVERYONE! THEY’RE GOING TO BE SO EXCITED!”
The whispers inside my head were silent. They tried to disappear. They sought to hide from the joy in my wife’s voice. Her excitement and love didn’t chase them away. They hunted the whispers down. They searched every nook and dark corner of my brain. Grabbed them by their ankles and dragged them out kicking and screaming. My wife’s joy didn’t just extinguish these doubting voices they gave them wedgies and stole their lunch money before evicting them from my brain.
So I decided to turn my life upside down. To return to school to break into a profession that covets youth, creativity, and skinny jeans.
Am I scared? Yes.
Do I look good in skinny jeans? NO.
Am I making a terrible mistake? No? I mean, No.
Do I think I can do this?
est. 2013, curated by the Hour After Happy Hour Writing Workshop
Design | Publishing | Photography | Art
Mr. Fenske is a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond VA. The site is an extension of his efforts in the classroom, except for the cartoons, which seem to grow out of some disaffection he feels with the world. Thank you for visiting. © Mark Fenske
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