I visited my parents over the weekend. They are the conservative kind of parents who have let me roam in hopes that I will see the light and return to their way of life. I doubt that’ll ever happen though. I feel as though I have roamed far enough to know I prefer a happy middle between modern and traditional ideals. Whenever I go home my visits with my mother go somewhat like this: “How’s school?” “Great, you know just classes and work and stuff.” “Still an English major?” “Yup.” “Well, that can change you know, you can always pursue business or politics in the future.” “Please respect me and my decisions, thank you.” “I understand, sorry.”
I encountered a distant relative at my father’s house and he had no idea what my studies were. When I told him I study Creative Writing he said, “What, are you going to write letters and make money? Hahahaha.” He was very condescending about the whole thing. I kind of smiled and laughed and twiddled my thumbs so as not to seem rude. I was trying to see the world from his perspective and trying to be understanding of how much he does not understand my choices.
I didn’t want to tell him that I feel more ready for the world than I’d ever be if I was any other major, and I wanted to tell him that I didn’t care about the money because I wouldn’t trade the knowledge and experience I’ve gained for the world. I feel sometimes that being a poet allows me to know the secrets of the world, those that no one else but poets have access to. And sometimes I feel that we are all part of some huge cult because we can see the world in the same, but different way. I think other artists have this same feeling towards one another, but I think I like that my art is poetry and that though people claim that it is dying, this has always been the case; I want to think the opposite though, I want to think that poetry is surviving and spreading. Whether people know it or not, doesn’t matter to me much, but I can see it in the way so many people want to be “artsy” and don’t know how.
All in all, I just wanted to tell all of you who get this bullshit from your relatives that it’s okay, it happens to me too. But I know that they’re wrong because they know nothing more than I do about how to live a happy life, I think we are all just learning as we go and I think that poetry teaches us how to learn forever without teachers.