When I was a freshman I had to write a paper about my future career. When we presented them in front of the class I was slightly embarrassed sharing my colorful construction of my future acting career and engagement to Leonardo DiCaprio, but when I was writing it… well when i was writing it I was having a blast. Having a great time writing a school paper.
Other students were a bit more practical in their ambitions. Scientists. Engineers. Dancers (okay, maybe that’s not as practical but it seemed so to me at the time). But Lindsey was going to be a leading Hollywood actress, and she wrote about it in a first person account that read like an early life memoir.
By the time I graduated, I had expanded my ambitions a bit. I was going to write, direct, star in and write the soundtracks for my own films. I had a band at the time. I had just begun to write some music that wasn’t super bad, just as I had finally started writing some short stories,poetry and lyrics that wouldn’t make readers want to gouge their eyes out.
I was encouraged to choose a practical major in college within my interests but I held out for a while, refusing to narrow it down from English and Communications. Meanwhile, during long lonely nights in my dorm while my roommate was out and I was supposed to be studying or sleeping, I was writing stories. I was experimenting. My hard drive went from fifteen to a hundred non school related doc files in a year. I filled notebooks with lyrics and even songs.
I started a band.
Eventually we even played shows and weren’t half bad. We had a great time but the push was never there. I never wanted to sacrifice college, the potential of a family to go out on the road and pursue that passion. And that’s when I knew.
I declared a Journalism major in the weak attempt of being practical but even as I finished my degree I knew I wanted to write novels. That was what I wanted to do with my life. My journalism degree didn’t get me a journalism job because I had no heart for the field. Instead I became a graphic designer and I liked the work a lot.
At that point in my life, my career passions took a backseat to life goals. I met my husband. I wanted to build a life with him, have a family. Dreams of Leonardo were long gone and I was excited to be making a home in the suburbs and focusing on building a great one.
But I didn’t stop writing and something funny happened. I lost my job. And I couldn’t’ find a new one right away. So I wrote, between job searches and applications I wrote. I finished a novel that I consider to be my first adult work, although far from ready to publish to this day. When I finally got another job, life moved fast. I got pregnant, had a baby and the suffered from a serious heath ailment that forced me to resign and become a stay at home mother.
And after the adjustment to being a stay at home mother, I started to write more and learn more, through trial and error and research about what it took to become a writer. I started to focus in.
Now I’m standing at the precipice and I realize my whole life has pushed me here again and again. I have always had a passion for the creative arts. I have always been a writer. I have accomplished my first dream of having a family. I have one and it is beautiful. Now is the time for my next dream. Any attempts I have made to be practical with my career have derailed, one way or another so there is only one path left for me to choose. The path of my life long passion.
How lucky am I that I know where my passion lies? I have seen friends and loved ones struggle trying to find a path that compels them. I have watched people pursue interest after interest only to watch them fizzle out and leave them wanting. I have stood side by side with other on the edge of their dream and afraid to jump down the slippery slope that could lead to their failure.
I am no so afraid any more. I know what I want and I will accomplish it eventually.
Because this is where I always end up.