I've been wrestling so many thoughts in the past week and a half. Graduation was the 16th, but work for the RAs continued for another week. In that week, more things happened in my life than I can even cope with right now.
I had my first ever interview for the industry, I moved out of the dorms (my home for four years) forever, I quit my summer job, I asked a guy out (big deal to me), and I entered one of the scariest times in my life...
Life as a Graduate and Alum.
For most people I just graduated with, that may not "frighten" them as it does me, but I have always been different. I came into CalArts with special circumstances, it seems only right that I should leave with them. As it has been slowly dawning on me, I had to admit this past week that I have officially put myself through CalArts. I made it through all four years at a college that my family once told me I would never be able to afford. And maybe I still can't actually "afford" it, but I never quit. When some people told me that I should, maybe I should "take a year off" (when I complained of how I couldn't pay my bills), maybe I should "quit some of (my) jobs" (when I couldn't finish all of my homework because I was working so much to pay for the classes)- I didn't quit. CalArts meant that much to me then- and it still means that much to me now.
I don't regret selling my car to buy my plane ticket to California. I don't regret selling my books, and DVDs, and cds, and clothes, and furniture to ship the stuff I had remaining to California. I don't regret missing my friends for four years. I don't regret my student loans. I don't regret all of the hard work I had to do. I don't regret the parties I missed because I had work the next morning. I don't regret all of the jobs I had. And I ~almost~ don't regret not finishing my films. All of it was just the price I had to pay to attend my dream school. And the REASON I don't regret any of it is because what I got OUT of CalArts.
I met some of the most wonderful people on the face of the planet. My classmates, my professors, the Character Animation staff, my mentor, my bosses- my friends. All of these people are now my new family. And whether I know them better than blood or barely at all, I love them. We all came from different places, situations, strengths, and backgrounds. Some bonded closer than others, but in the end, we all have CalArts.
I also met people in the industry. AMAZING people! I got to go to studios, and premiers, and events, and conventions, and galleries, and screenings that I NEVER had access to in Texas. I have "connections" now IN the animation industry! CalArts (and a bit of perseverance) gave me that. Some of those things are beyond value in dollar amount.
To make this post a bit shorter (because I could go on and on)- my time at CalArts has been PRICELESS. I will never be able to thank each person who helped me through CalArts personally, but they have my eternal gratitude. In whatever way- big or small- that they made my journey easier, I can never thank them enough.
The funny part is- this whole post was actually started because I thought about the title of my blog. It is called "Amanda Candler's CalArts Blog". Technically, I can no longer use this title, as it no longer truly applies. I find myself discovering this about much of my online presence. My LinkedIn, my Facebook, my blog- they all need to be updated. Seeing as how I am in the wind until I find my place in my new situation, I hardly know what to call any of it. It will be very final for me to delete all of my job titles, one I've had for four years, off of my Facebook. But from here on out- it's all about my new journey.
I think I am excited, even if I am a little bit scared... So here's looking to the Future!