My First Publication

I am honored, terrified, ecstatic, nervous, pleased, proud (and so many other adjectives that seem quite incompetent to describe the strange muddle of emotions in me) to share with you the following link, which leads directly to my first ever credited publication:

http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/18949/master-plotto-week-two-winner-ilana-masad.html

The fact that this piece was written, sent out, and has won a competition while I am here, at Oxford, is not lost upon me. These last few weeks – less than four since I arrived – have been some of the most incredible in my life.

Why? I can’t put my finger on it. Something in me has been unfastened, a door has opened, and breaths of fresh air are allowed in and out. Maybe it’s the lack of any extremely close confidants, as yet. Being an unknown quantity to so many people, all at once, used to be a horrible, crippling and terrifying experience for me in the past; When I got back to Sarah Lawrence, healthier and more whole than I’d been, with a huge chunk of myself suddenly taken away, as if removed by an operation, a phantom pain still clung to me, throbbing. By now, that phantom has become, once more, a solid part of me and my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But back then, I threw myself vulnerable, emotionally naked, into the arms of a student body that didn’t remember I existed, and I learned how to protect myself just enough – not too much – so as to obtain the required scratches and calluses to make me able to survive in that wilderness. I am now, again, in a new place, but this time with a home base, a camp, to return to, and I’m thankful for it.

My point, I suppose, is that, as undefinable as this feeling is, it has something to do with where I am. Maybe it’s the lovely sweaters I keep seeing people wearing. Maybe it’s the plethora of accents. Maybe it’s the vibrancy of so many other brains, throbbing at the same time in their race to study, read, write, talk, study, read, write, talk ad nauseum.

Whatever it is, I’m glad Oxford is here and I’m glad I am in Oxford.

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