Monthly Archives: May 2020

If I Wrote My Own “Girl, Wash Your Face”

There’s a lady named Rachel Hollis that I’ve been following for a few years now. She’s famous for her motivational speaking, trendy blogging and her very transparent books about her life. “Girl, Wash Your Face” was a huge break out for her and it’s one I read many times during college and have listened to it again during this post-undergrad limbo. Each chapter of the book looks at a different topic from her life, talking about how she learned from it, and tips to help others going through the same things. This got me thinking: if I were to write my own “Girl, Wash Your Face,” what would my chapters be? So, I made a list. 

There would be a chapter about developing a love of Star Wars in middle school, right around the time your elementary school friends have made their defining cliques that don’t include you. This would probably include a little shout-out of the time I was peer-pressured by my friends to say yes to a boy who was asking me to be his girlfriend. 

There would be a chapter about when I decided to join my brother at home to homeschool with my Mom and the doors that were opened up through that experience.

There would be a chapter about my experience doing community theater nonstop for seven years and the dozens of shows that shaped me into the person I am today.

There would be a chapter about starting college as a fifteen year old. It would depict the first semester of being the “cool homeschooler” all the way through graduating at age eighteen with my first degree. 

There would be a buffer chapter about my experiences with learning how to drive. That was a riot. (I had to take the permit test five times.)

There would be a separate chapter about the last year I spent in community college post-graduation, where I worked in the art lab, took some studio classes, and agonized over where to transfer to for the second part of my studies. This would include the story of how I wanted to go to one specific school for four years, had a mental breakdown in McDonald’s with my parents, and that afternoon went and applied for Missouri Western. 

There would be a chapter about my hesitancy of having female friends and being a “guy’s girl.” This would also include the idea of “friend crushes,” which I totally believe are a thing.

There would be a chapter about my first bizarre year of undergrad: the roommate drama, the ice storm during tech week, and the British comedy that made me and my buddy very stressed at breakfast. 

There would be a chapter about my obsession with personality types, how the obsession helped me understand myself and slowly but surely except why I am the way I am. 

There would be a chapter about break-ups and how I wish I had seen myself more worthy of value. It would talk about letting go, but also that it’s okay that you share wonderful memories with someone who hurt you. 

There would be a chapter about having to set my pride aside and drop doing from a double major in Theatre/Cinema and Animation down to just an animation minor because of a conversation after a Directing Showcase. 

There would be a chapter about starting antidepressant medication about four weeks after a rough breakup and the roller coaster of emotions I still battle when it comes to taking a little white pill every day to help my brain. 

There would be a chapter about how my best friend accepted Jesus and the radical transformation I got to witness. 

There would be a chapter about the semester I first started dealing with suicidal thoughts. 

There would be a chapter about how I proved to myself that I can play a leading lady in a musical and how it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a performer. 

There would be a chapter about being a virgin all throughout college and the massive struggle it is to remain one until marriage. (I would need to wait on fully writing this chapter until after this August because alas, I am still on that struggle bus.)

There would be a chapter about saying goodbye to my department at MWSU and finding myself working at Walmart during a pandemic that turned my final year of college upside down. 

There would be a chapter about how you don’t need to change who you are to be loved by people. The people who are most important will be the ones who stick with you no matter what. 

 

Maybe someday I’ll write this book, who knows. Right now though, I’m working on a novel! You can follow my progress through vlogs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe7MNPmgaHo&list=PL-7Cp86raoS6SQtP7nRt5l6zi1Uw5Kf1D 

Feel free to join me in this creative endeavor! I’m always looking for creative accountability partners!

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby

 

62

What do you say when sixty-two teachers lose their jobs? How do you process the idea that sixty-two families must reevaluate their livelihoods? What do you do when you get emails to give course evaluations when all but one of the five teachers you had this semester has been let go? How can you celebrate the milestone of finishing a degree when the school that gave you your diploma has decided to get rid of the degree you just earned? When are you able to walk through the halls of your alma mater without experiencing a tremendous amount of pain for what has been lost? There’s no easy answer to any of these questions. For some of them, there never may be one. 

The photo above represents sixty-two faculty members at my school who were recently let go due to drastic budget cuts. Whole departments have been wiped out, one of them being the theatre department, and still more people will continue to lose their jobs on top of these sixty-two. It’s easy to see human beings as a tally mark; just another number. But oh, there is so much that goes into that tally mark. 

You sometimes think your teachers aren’t real people; they just live at the school, right? However, teachers have hopes, dreams, fears, families and responsibilities that don’t involve their classroom. As I drew out each tally for this blog banner picture, I wept. The weight of seeing how many lives have to be restarted makes every little issue I’ve had in the past month seem petty. In the end though, these lives boiled down to numbers. When you simply don’t have the means to make ends meet, something has to be let go.  

I understand that my school isn’t the only school dealing with this. Many schools across the country are having to make impossible decisions about funding that isn’t there. It doesn’t lessen the tragedy though. There have been times where I’ve scrolled through Facebook and saw posts about schools that were trying desperately to save certain programs. I just never thought it would be my school dealing with it. 

There’s nothing I can write that could help this situation. For the past two weeks, I’ve tried to come up with something, anything…but there are no words that haven’t already been said. It’s sad. It’s infuriating. It’s unfair. It’s Teacher Appreciation week and all I want is to be able to help fix this mess…but there is nothing I can do but tell them thank you. 

There aren’t enough words to express how much my teachers have done for me. It takes a special kind of soul to be willing to dedicate their life to teaching the next generation. To the educators at my university and every other teacher who is in this same crappy boat: thank you. Thank you for showing up for your students. Thank you for pouring your lives out for us. Thank you for the lessons in and outside the classroom. Thank you for being there. And to every student whose favorite teacher has lost their job: reach out. Remind them of the good they did in your life. Your teachers deserve the encouragement. 

I am ready for this next chapter of life because of every teacher I have ever had, but especially those that I had in undergrad. Thank you all: without you, I wouldn’t be standing where I am today. As you begin your new chapters, I pray that your former students pour out as much love to you as you did for us.

Until Next Time, 

Abby