Day #1: The Retreat’s Mission

“Life is about using the whole box of crayons.”

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the master behind Mastering Minds or simply, Meagan. I would like to say that I am not a morning person nor am I a night owl. Unfortunately, I have been best friends with insomnia for nearly a decade. I haven’t quite figured out if it’s a boy or girl. At this point it could be a magical unicorn or my version of Tinkerbell. Last night into this morning was a bit tricky but nothing out of the ordinary. Basically, I barely slept but I made sure to get my iced coffee from Dunkin and a french toast bagel with taylor ham, egg and cheese. By now, you’re probably wondering why I’m sharing. Well, this is how I began my first morning of the Writer’s Retreat. Belly happy, eyes sleepy, and ready to learn.

I met an acquaintance from last fall semester, the infamous, “Why do you write?” I know this retreat represents more than this question but it replays in my head like a violin. Since this pandemic and the end of the spring semester,  I have been feeling like less than a writer. Although I know it’s not true, it is still a feeling. I am happy to be a part of this program’s family. I have learned that new voices, new ideas, new words and new friends can help me climb over that mountain called Writer’s Block. For those of you  familiar with this grand mountain, you understand that it can shift from continent to continent, mood to mood, Sunday to Saturday and AM to PM.

My goal during this retreat to answer that infamous question. Writing usually helps me to exhale but inhaling is my current struggle. I would like to get to know myself on a different level. Last semester, I was asked to write a memoir which led to unique poetry for my second class and somehow trickled into an essential building block for a research proposal in my third class. I thought it was amazing how well aligned my three classes were in preparing me for my personal mission of  Self-Discovery through my own words.

I do have ideas and I do have doubts. As I sit in my hot and small space, I begin as usual to over-think on what else to say or share. I am inspired to somehow make this into my thesis concept. I am aspiring to use this concept as a road map to my self-discovery.

Step 1 of this adventure: collect all written ideas. I

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I accidently wiped my mouth with the napkin I wrote more ideas on. Typical me. 

Now it’s my turn to practice what i used to preach to my Kindergarten students:

Dare to dream…Dream to understand

Understand to believe…Believe to have hope

Hope to find faith…Faith leads you to achieve

Achieve to build esteem…Build esteem to motivate

Motivate to dare…Dare to dream.

 

I guess for now just stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.

Episode 2: The Powerful Retreat

 

Thanks a bunch,

Meagan

 

 

 

 

Writer’s Retreat Day 1

I wasn’t ready for today. School just came to an end last Thursday, and my brain automatically went into summer mode. I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday just chilling like a villain. So when I had to set a timer Sunday evening, I was feeling dismal.

This morning seeing everyone’s faces and hearing everyone’s aspirations about why they are pursuing a graduate degree put me back into my mojo. I was a little concerned about what my writing project would be. I chose this program because I do see myself as an adjunct professor one day, and maybe later, I’ll complete my Ph.D. and be a full-time professor, who knows. So any writing I have done or continue to do is always related to work or academics. Sometimes I feel like I have no creative bone in my body. I still want to write, mainly stories with lessons at the end, because those are my favorite kinds of tales. But I have never dared to write anything remotely creative. I read authors such as Slyvia Plath and Alice Walker and wonder how they were able to write so beautifully.

I am hoping this class helps me loosen up and be a little more open towards any other type of writing besides just academic writing. I am super excited because I was thinking about a spot where I can just sit and write, and then I realized my mother, and I cleaned out our garage two weekends ago. If I can figure out how my wifi can reach my little den, I’ll throw up some lights, a few plants for greenery, and some background music and viola, a perfect writing hideout.

On that note, time to go set up this den, maybe I’ll do one of those before and after TikTok videos on the dens transformation, just maybe…

Reflections On Our First Day…

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I was impatiently awaiting the start of the Writing Retreat and the kick off to summer classes so now that the day has finally arrived I feel like as my good friend Meagan always says: “TIME TO EXHALE.” The anticipation was too much! Partly because of the isolation and chaos of the pandemic (we just need a release already) and partly because I’m Italian which naturally makes me a nervous ball of energy! It was amazing to see so many new faces and I love the diversity in our group! I feel like we all can learn so much from one another even in this short time that we have together. I feel confident that we will all make the most of this unique experience and opportunity. Given the unprecedented events due to COVID-19 I’ve learned to face my fears, complain less and appreciate so much more of the little things in life. So for me this remote summer session experience is just another step in learning acceptance and it forces me to embrace change which I have a difficult time with. I believe this retreat will teach me more healthy ways to cope with what we are all being faced with today, which is and will continue to be many more uncomfortable moments in time. Writing for me has and always will be an innate gift that I’m thankful for. It heals me, speaks to me, soothes me, and allows me to purge my deepest and darkest emotions and fears. Writing also allows me to reflect on happier times and also helps me to express my gratitude. It serves as a reminder to myself of how far I have come in my life and that I need to learn how to forgive myself more easily. Writing for me is like giving myself a pat on the back. Letting myself know that everything will be okay, go easy Nives, be gentle on yourself. Sometimes it’s difficult to say the words yet easier to just write it out. The concept of this retreat intrigues me and inspires me! Especially during this stressful time, how amazing to get two weeks to relax, reflect, connect and write about whatever our hearts desire. I think we can all use a little bit of that right about now. I feel my creative juices flowing already on day 1! I can’t wait to read and engage in lively class discussions with all of you and to learn more about you through all your unique blog posts! It’s such a crazy time we are living in right now and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to meet such nice people, with similar goals, and life experiences. I already feel so connected to you all and I’m excited to see where this adventure takes us. As far as my writing project for the course I have some ideas. I might choose to focus on my memoir which is entitled: “The Seashell.” I started this project in my Creative Non Fiction memoir course in the spring semester and what started as just a required assignment quickly turned into a passion project for me. I’m not 100% set on it just yet but let’s see where this journey takes me! I feel like each day of this retreat will bring me closer to my final decision about the project for this course and my overall thesis. So stay tuned! See you all tomorrow! Take Care. Xo.

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