I had to take my own back to school picture because I’m 36 years old.

My first day back at school felt exactly like the Mudslide on ice with espresso that I got from Sweet Bay that morning, delicious, exciting and completely satisfying.

I get it, it’s the first day. But on that first day I saw so many people I hadn’t seen since May, unless they appeared on my podcast do read. Either way, I got a ton of hugs, a lot of compliments from my homeboy’s hat which you know made my day, and I got a blast of environmental energy that you only get from a place where people are congregated to succeed.

I’ve always loved school and being on campus. Most of my dreams I’m roaming the halls of Bixby’s I-High (which isn’t even a thing anymore, and if you’re reading Mrs. Ernce, you pop in and out of the front office pretty often) or traipsing through the beautiful Tahlequah’s campus.  UAFS feels the same, my friends from school mean so much to me. I draw so much from them sitting in class and sharing each other’s work. Heather my bae, Hayleigh, The Walrod, Rayn, Lynette, Cherokee, Schuyler, Laken, Mikayla, Victoria, Kellie, Kaitlyn, all of y’all have given me energy to create and in that, I get closer to placing all of the missing puzzle pieces into the picture. You’re a treasure I had to seek through listening and I wish nothing but the absolute best for us this semester as artists. Our creative climate is changing and it’s time to share our hot fire with the world.

Writing this summer answered the questions I’ve yelled into empty air and hammered into the ground. It shed the brightest lights on areas in myself that I blindly accepted. Writing allows for self-reflection, while returning to read allows empathy for my healing soul.

There is a reason why we are drawn to create; we would die without it.

Happy first day to everyone going back today, I hope the flames we ignited on campus today burn or smoke at a pace we can safely maintain and that when one of us needs cooling down, we all have someone we love and trust to blow wind, or even offer a drizzle of rain to calm the blaze.  If you need me I will make it rain allll over you.

I hope our upcoming experiences at UAFS inspire everyone to continue to learn and grow; we are in the best city with the best wishes for us all. I may be taking eighteen hours, but I’mma have some fun. Hope to see you all there.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Pam Ernce says:

    I’m here. Still cheering you on from afar. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep reaching for the stars. Keep being the best version of you! Have a great school year. 💕


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