40 W Lake Street — Leo Burnett

Sometimes when I write, I’m describing a grand spark of inspiration.

Most other times, I’m describing the shit show half of my life.

There’s hardly an in between — as most things inspire me if they aren’t driving me bat shit crazy with anxiety. This week has been riddled with bat shit. So much so that I probably cried enough to clean all of it up.

Things began when I finally decided to do something that I had been putting off for an entire semester and a half already; which was a lovely sit-down with Student Financial Services. Private art schools are never cheap, which is why the people that go to them aren’t REAL hipsters. A real hipster would never spend that much money on scholastic achievement — and even more pressing — would never let Mommy and Daddy spend that much on college. (Or even go to college? Who knows.)

Last week I found out just how expensive. So darn pricey that without Mommy and Daddy’s help or a job you can only get with a degree you need to attend the expensive school for, one cannot pay for, even part time. The woman in the seemingly cramped office had given me a speech about looking at the “big picture” and reevaluation; but as soon as I started to tear up she encouraged me to “make the dream happen.” Good thing she wasn’t working in the counseling department. This woman couldn’t seem to make up her mind on the advice necessary for this type of independent (but not technically and independent by law) student; but my mind was already made up.

I now have to take a year off of school to pay my debts before I can go back. Even when I do, I won’t be able to afford the one I go to now.

Which brings me to where I’m sitting at this very moment: the Leo Burnett building.

Also known as heaven, place of my dreams, and one of the biggest advertising agencies worldwide, I’m seated in Starbucks with my Chai Tea Latte and brought-from-home snacks. I can’t help but feel out of place.

On the outside I appear well dressed in outstandingly trendy business casual. I’m typing vigorously on the newest version of the Windows Surface Pro with posture fit for perfection. My nails are done, and my cup has a red lipstick stain on it. My name is spelled wrong on the cup, (they always add a freaking “H”) but other than that this would have been how I wanted to see myself a year ago.

On the inside, I know that this is my last semester at the best school I’ve ever attended; the place I feel the most at home with REAL Hip Hop dancers and art hos of all persuasions. I know that I will spend the next year of my life wearing business casual to my current job of course, but will not be inching myself any closer to the career I preemptively dress myself for. I’ll be playing catch-up; like those lazy kids in high school who turn in every assignment the day the quarter is finished. Except the quarter is finished.

As you can tell by now, this a shit show entry, and not an I’m so inspired entry.

However, I’m only a little embarrassed. 1) because I have so much pride that it’s a little hard to admit that I’m backtracking and 2) because sometimes in life, the only way to move forward is to take a couple of steps back and be thankful that you can still walk.