Three hundred and sixty four days ago I sat in my parents’ living room and prepared to eat my birthday meal. I don’t remember what we had–I don’t even remember who was there. I remember my mom saying grace, which sticks out to me, because my dad usually said grace. I don’t know why mother said it this time. I’m not sure it’s important.

I remember her saying that she believed this would be my year. She was referring, at the time, to the idea that I might get some of my work published. She fervently believed that this would be the year I made a name for myself, even if only a little.

Fast-forward to today. Tomorrow is my 29th birthday. I haven’t been published. I haven’t changed jobs. I haven’t really done anything over the past year to even remotely bring my mother’s predictions to life. All in all, if Year 28 was “my” year, I screwed it up royally. I am in the same place now that I was 364 days ago.

Well. Almost.

I’ve often thought about going back to school. In 2004 I graduated with my B.A. in Journalism, a degree I’ve used a little, but not nearly as much as I thought I would when I got it. I have no desire to be a journalist. That desire was beaten out of me by the people who ran whatever crappy place I worked for at any given point in my career.

Run this story, Chris. It’ll help us sell ads.

Don’t run this story, Chris. They refuse to buy advertising.

Can you rewrite your library story, Chris? I’d like to catch them in a lie. (A news director actually asked me to do this. In a story about the library. The library. He hated them or something. I don’t know.)

I want to go back and get my Master’s degree in English. I began that process in January. I got my affairs in order, studied some universities to decide where I wanted to go and started submitting applications and materials. I got into my second choice, the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

I’m officially a college student again. This time, though, I’m a graduate student. I’ve recovered the tail from the Castle of Ordeals, and I’m ready to take it back to Bahamut to prove my courage in the hopes that he bestows some of his power on me and my party. (If you’ve never played Final Fantasy 1 that joke won’t make sense. But, if you have, you’ll know it’s hilarious.)

So, yes, Year 28 wasn’t so great for me, but Year 29 is shaping up to be different. I can’t say if it’s going to be better. I can’t say if it’s going to be worse. It’s going to be different, which is what I want. I’m tired of complacency. I’m tired of just existing. I need change in my life, and this seems to be the best way to do that.

If I stick to the plan, I’ll graduate with my Master’s in 2013. Who knows if I’ll make it? I wasn’t the best student, the first time around, and I’m not sure much has changed. I’ve matured a bit, and I understand the stakes are higher. We’ll just have to see. But, even if I fail, at least I tried. At least I can say that I took a look at my complacent, boring life and I made a change.

The life that doesn’t take a risk is not worth living. I can’t say that’s the actual quote, but it’s something like that. I think I finally understand what it means. I’m scared to death of making such a large commitment, especially when I’m still paying off the first time I went to college. I’m scared to death I won’t be able to hack it, or the university will look at my first year and decide they were wrong in admitting me. When I look at the next two years, I’m nearly frozen with fear.


I’m also excited. I’m excited to live in a new city. I’m excited to meet new people. I’m excited to have a local comic shop, at which I can spend all my hard-earned money. I’m excited to see IF I can complete this task. Above all else, I’m just excited to see what happens.

I’m excited to have a life that’s worth living.

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