TL;DR version: English, for better or worse, and I should have known that all along. Readers who actually prefer to go on a graphics-free, 800-wordcount journey, please follow me…
Yes, all 15 of you. Look. I know you’ve come to expect certain things from me on this site, primarily handy cleaning tips and irregular musings about a variety of irregular topics, with the occasional foray into piano-nerd-fangirlishness and no small amount of me bemoaning my inability to settle on an academic major so that I can get on with my life and have a career and all that before I’m old enough to retire and/or die. The bad news is: this post is more of that. The good news is: I’m done with the exploration and wondering, because I finally, really, truly, for the last time, have figured it out. What follows is the long, but ultimately liberating process that led to the END of this godawful exercise in self-torture. It is “writerly,” because that’s how I write when I’m not trying to write something that will result in a good response on Pinterest. Here goes.
Part 1: Things I Truly Love
Regardless of Talent, Training or Expertise
- Music, Irrespective of Genre or Intent
- Stories, Fiction & Non, on Pages, Stages & Screens
- Colors, Shapes & Lines
- Contrasts, Repetitions, Alignments & Proximities
- Surprises, Subtexts, Twists & Revelations
- Domestic Everything, Even Cleaning & Weed-Pulling
Part 2: Natural Behaviors
Regardless of Usefulness or Marketability
- Autodidactism, Hyper-Analysis & Tangential Oversharing
- Writing: Letters, Lists, Instructions, Stories & Reflections
- Doodling: My Name, Hearts, Faces, Cubes, Asterisks, Daisies (and also Swirls, Curlicues, and the number 8 )
- Aimless Wandering & Local Adventuring
- Planning without Acting & Acting without Planning
- Listening Repetitively & Looking Closely
- Connecting Seemingly-Unrelated Items
Part 3: Connect Love & Nature
Perhaps NOT an Exercise in Futility & Self-Torture
I get it now. I was right in high school, when I was determined to become a Writer-with-a-capital-W and I declared, long before graduation day came, that I was going to be an English major.
I was right at Marycrest, when I added English as a second major to Graphics and joked about becoming a Professor of Pop Culture.
I was right to keep writing in my LiveJournal all those years, I am right to feel incomplete because I have not written anything truly vital in the past half-decade, and I am right, right now, to stop searching for The Right Thing when I was right all along.
I can entertain notions of myself as a therapist, a counselor, a teacher, a coordinator, a concert promoter, a painter, a decorator, a housewife, a talent manager, a graphic artist, a program manager, a video editor, and a hundred other things. But I cannot envision a life in which I am not writing. I cannot see myself being decisive without first writing a many-page introspective, getting through a day without a list of things to cross off, going from sun up to sun down without updating the world as to my every thought and notion, or at least putting it down privately for my own comfort (even if I do ultimately delete it once it’s out of my head). I cannot see myself as a non-writer, or as someone who only writes when absolutely required.
I’ve written very little of import or worth, but I have written. Every day of my life, I have written. Breathing and writing are the only things I have done consistently…even eating and sleeping have been less regular. And yet somehow I forgot that I had a calling, even though it’s been calling to me every day in the forms of humor, solace, diversion and daily life. I just stopped recognizing it. I stopped valuing it.
It’s no wonder I’ve played such hell trying to figure out who I am and what I should be doing. How could I possibly have expected to get through the next 60 minutes, much less the next 60 years, doing anything other than writing? I do need to continue with school. I need to know what I’ve been ignoring all this time. I need to study and practice and fail miserably and succeed spectacularly and earn a Bachelor’s degree—maybe even a Master’s degree—and it all needs to be based in the study of English and Writing. I know what I can do with it and what I can’t, and I know that what I can’t do, I don’t really want to do, because I don’t want to put 8-12 hours each day into something that doesn’t have me writing, or at least reading. I don’t need to decide what I wish to be because I already am that. I need practice and purpose, not a suitable alternative.
I do not wish to be a writer. I AM a writer.
PS: So there it is.
PPS: Not that I'm going to stop writing about cleaning or anything. Just so you know.
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