Made of Gray


Changing Directions

Photography Beyond SNHolly D. GrayComment

The past year has been full of change for our family. Caleigh's long surgery and stay in Boston is notably the biggest upheaval, but there have been many more. Change has been everywhere. That's life, right? If we aren't changing we aren't growing. 

Changing Directions via Castle Island Boston

During 2015, I had been creating my own personal art on the side, showing in galleries and feeling good about where I was headed. Last November when I resigned from my nonprofit position, there was a period of time that left me yearning to find my path. I had extra free time that I felt confused to fill. I needed the down time emotionally, but there was something that was missing.

Once I discovered that it was the making and creating that I had lost, I jumped back in. When there wasn't a paid job to fill the quiet spaces, I looked towards art and continuing my education. 

I'll save you the long version of this dream... I've always wanted my Master of Fine Arts and to teach at the university level. That was the plan. Caleigh's birth and fragility slowed and fogged that dream. There were moments that I thought it wouldn't happen. 2016 showed up, timing was right and free, and I was fully supported at home with Caleigh's care to pursue this little goal of mine.  

Changing Directions via Castle Island Boston

After months of work, applications, meetings and portfolio reviews, everything was submitted to several graduate programs in the area. I waited a month, had further interviews and eventually chose UTA and their Intermedia Studio program. They were able to offer me funding as well as a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and a studio space. The acceptance process is very rigorous and I'm happy that my work and potential was what they were looking for in a candidate. 

Flash forward an entire summer that frankly wiped my slate clean. I haven't created anything with my hands since we left and the photography that I shot still lives on my hard drive. I pulled these from our visit to Castle Island in Boston. The fog was amazing that evening. Even editing these images for this post gets me excited about the next three years. 

At home things are much less supported than they were when I was applying back in January. Of course, Eric is a rockstar dad that pulls his weight in an incredible way. Dad's need time for themselves too though. Since we've been home, we've been working on finding the right nurse or caregiver for Caleigh. Another big change. Today I interviewed nurse #7 since we've been home. She's coming back on Monday and I really do hope that she works out. We have a new respite caregiver that should help with date nights and mandatory school outings throughout the coming semester. 

Changing Directions via Castle Island Boston

Next week is the start of classes and finding a routine for all of us. With most of my coursework being research based and independent studio time; we should find time for therapies, homeschool and down time without a hitch.  Everything else may just have to wait. 

Things are falling into place, but they are still in that "what was I thinking" stage. I literally have a moment of pure excitement followed by extreme mom guilt and I haven't even started yet. It'll be an interesting transition, but I'm excited to see where we are all headed. 

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