Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Not quite six months....





I know that I said I would be away for six months, but since my last post things have changed. Or rather, I changed things. I guess I just got sick of living my life based on expectations of myself that were, for lack of a better word, stupid. Boy oh boy were they stupid. Here was I, the least practical person on the planet with no commonsense and a bad habit of daydreaming at the most inconvenient moments, studying TEACHING.

Apparently you need common-sense and an attention span better than that of a goldfish to teach the new generation. Who knew?

So half-way through the semester, with six months to go, I dropped out. I realised that the only reason I stayed with it for so long was because of fear. I was scared of venturing from the nice, safe, career-orientated practical, to the uncertain and risky creative.

But I’m NOT practical. I am a creative dreamer without a shred of common sense and realism in my body. Unfortunately creative isn’t safe. Creative leads to degrees and dreams that scare people; to the kinds of ideas that prompt them to say “so...what job will you have exactly?” Creative isn’t embraced in our society because it is risky. It doesn’t lead to an automatic career and therefore it is seen as worthless.

That’s the way that I was brought up and it’s so hard to shake the shackles that bind me to the straight, predictable and narrow. Not that my parents at all forced that on me; instead it was my own play-it-safe self that was too scared to see any other way.

But I’m not like that anymore. I need to be true to myself and I need to sparkle in the way that only I know how. I see so many people watering themselves down, never being as bright as I can see that they could be, and I am terrified of ending up like that.

So now I am doing my Masters in Writing and Literature, and you can bet I’ve heard ‘”So...what will you do afterwards?......” maaaany times in the last month.

And the answer is: I don’t know. But I’m tired of being governed by fear, of clinging to what is safe, of ignoring who I am, even if it that doesn’t necessarily lead to a job of sorts.

Understandably my parents were a little confused when I first made my decision. After all, it was ‘just six more months’, why couldn’t I finish it off and then pursue what makes me happy? And it makes sense when they say it. Six months is nothing, right? And to us, it isn’t. We rush through each six month block, trying to get to the next one. We stay in jobs we loathe, finish off degrees we don’t care for, straining at the bit for the future and all of the promise that it holds. But when we finally get there we’re off again, looking towards the future once more because we’re too scared to admit that we’re unhappy and dissatisfied where we are. And we stay unhappy and dissatisfied until one day it is too late, and we realise how precious those six months were and regret how carelessly we tossed them away.

I don’t want to look back knowing that any six month block of mine was filler. I refuse to waste my life like that, waiting for the future to come so that I can really start living.

I don’t really know where I’m heading at the moment, but for the first time I’m really truly excited. There is a sense of expectation in the air that wasn’t there when I was hiding behind back-up plans. Because there is nothing more cowardly that having a back-up plan, not when it comes to your dreams.

When I was Europe I was looking for a sign. A sign to tell me that I was doing the wrong thing, a sign that called on me to focus on my writing and stop messing around. It didn’t hit me until I got home that the looking WAS the sign.

Most of the time we know exactly what we want. Waiting around for the universe or whatever else you believe in to give you the ‘okay’ is a cop-out, an excuse not to try for fear of failure.

I don’t want to waste time doing things that I don’t love. That’s not to say that I’m expecting to fall into my dream job and won’t settle for less. I understand that life, as wonderful as it is, is not like that. It’s about compromise. I would like to write all the time but I also like having money to go out to brunch, to do fun things with friends, and to see that world. Hence I will get a job that allows me to do that, but will also give me the freedom to write in the evenings and maybe provide the funds to intern somewhere amazing if the opportunity comes up.

So...I’m not entirely sure where to go to from here and I have NO idea where I will end up, but for the first time I’m just enjoying soaking up every minute of the present.

10 comments:

nancy said...

wow! good to hear from you again! what have you been doing for the last... 6ish months (besides having life-altering epiphanies).
it's good to do things that scare you :) it means you're living.

ellie's desk said...

Glad you updated! Just think of it..as in..you saved your life. Being in something you don't like takes a toll on you.

Wishing you lots of happiness in writing, etc.

lucy and sarah said...

I'm excited for you! Happy, you updated.

a work in progress said...

awesome!

:)

keishua said...

WoW. what an exciting journey. soak it up. It takes courage to leap.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

This post was phenomenal. I give you so many kudos for being able to walk away from a program that didn't make you happy. And I know how it feels to be a creative type. I have a lot of supportive friends but my parents roll their eyes at me when I tell them what I want to do. They don't understand why I can't just stay put in my well-paying-but-utterly-boring job. It's not enough for me. We can't know what the future holds, but I'm sure that if you keep following your heart that you'll be happy and opportunities will present themselves.

Ashley said...

You go girl! This is life! Heading down one path, sometimes too far, to find out it's not right and turning around. I commend you :)

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Hello from Fiji beautiful! I'm so glad you're back, it seems like you've had so much going on. I'm excited that you're on a new path and one that you're passionate and excited about. Lets catch up when I get back <3

Jo said...

your brave decision will pay off in every way! good for you!! bravo!!
xox

iris said...

6 months can be a loooooong time if you're unhappy! Good luck with the new direction :)