Last year when I started blogging, I was also beginning another adventure of sorts. In one of my first posts, I wrote about not being as settled or “adult” as I expected to be during the first week of a new job in fundraising. And I ended the post saying that I would keep everyone updated on my progress, or my digression.
Well 15 months later, an update is probably overdue. About a month ago, I resigned and gave notice at my job. Last Friday was my last day of work. I don’t want to get into the many problems/gripes that lead to this decision, but I will say that I never felt comfortable in the position (i.e. never moved out). What comes next is (hopefully) more interesting than anything that has happened in the last year.
After lots and lots of time thinking I decided to take time off to (again hopefully) finish a young adult novel I’ve been writing since shortly after graduating. In the hope that a new location will be helpful in cultivating new habits, I’m also moving to my grandparents’ house in Big Sur in two weeks.
While I have generally considered myself a person that above all-else hates changes and loves both certainty and routine, there are alarming number of I don’t knows piling up in my life. I don’t know if I will be successful, and furthermore I don’t know what success means to me. I don’t know how long I will be on this journey. I don’t know where it will take me. I’m trying to embrace this.
What I do know, is that it feels like since graduating it feels like I’ve been juggling all my potential futures, unwilling to let any of them fall. Many of these things are not mutually exclusive, but some of them are. And in trying to protect all possible futures, I think I made myself miss out on more experiences than I’ve gained.
I don’t think this is an uncommon reaction to graduating without a plan (see Courtney Garcia’s Why Being in Your 20s Blows), nor is it the first time I’ve taken on too much. The first time I tried to write this novel, I thought that if I could write it during my 6 week winter break it would be great because then I might not need to find a job after graduation. I also planned to lose 20 pounds and learn to play the guitar over that break. Needless to say, none of that happened.
So it’s time to set down most of the balls, burn my boats, and really explore what I’ve wanted to do most for a very long time. Write. I’ve hit a plateau in the last few months, and think that being able to devote the majority of time and focus to this endeavor will let me know if this is something I really want to do, or if it just something I have been unwilling to let go of because I’ve wanted to pursue it since I was in high school.
For so long, I think I’ve felt a bit unworthy of being a writer: a large and complicated subject that I will save for a future post. I’m hoping for a few months of beautiful views, meditation, hiking, and of course writing. As well as being closer to a best friend and fellow book blogger! I don’t know if I am following my dream or finding my dream. While it does sound really magical, I don’t know if a book deal is the dream. Self-publishing could be interesting. More clarity on graduate school would also be nice. What I hope is that by doing things I want to do, I will end up where I want to be.
So more than a year later. No apartment. Nothing really figured out. Less certainty, more reliance on family, and a new pair of hiking boots. But there is more confidence and more excitement. And a whole lot more hope. I’ll let you decide if this is progress or digression, and I’ll keep you posted.
13 thoughts on “Adulthood Take 2: New Life Adventures”
I find that writers, far more than those in other occupations, always juggle multiple possible futures when young. That’s because they are meant to be writers and writers need experiences of different types of lives in order to write about them.
It’s only by giving yourself permission to walk down the various roads as you feel drawn to them that you end up with a wealth of things to draw on when you do finally write. So, let go of where your “supposed” to be and just experience, follow dreams, and write.
Too, remember that most successful writers become so around age 50 — in other words, when they’ve garnered a lot of life experience. Good luck with your novel!
Indra, thank you so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I really love what you said about writers needing to experience different types of lives in order to write about them. It really makes the last few years feel more constructive than random.
This post was great. Honestly, just…wow. Well done.
I know how you feel on the growing up end of things. After a whole bunch of years doing all sorts of different stuff for work and life I still don’t really have the what-I’m-going-to-be-when-I-grow-up question figured out. Don’t get me wrong, I have goals and couple of paths I’m pursuing but by no stretch do I have the thing figured out.
Oh, and Big Sur is probably one of the best places to write. I lived in Monterey a few blocks up from Cannery Row and I used to get all sentimental thinking about Steinbeck tapping away at a typewriter in my little ville decades earlier. Dorky, I know, but it kept me writing.
Thanks so much, Scott. That is crazy and totally not dorky that you lived in Monterey and channelled Steinbeck. Whatever keeps you writing. Anyways, thank you so much for your words of support.
Good luck! It sounds like you’re making the best choice you can for yourself at the moment and I’ll send some good luck and good thoughts your way! Sounds like you’ll be going somewhere inspiring at the very least.
Yes, I’m hoping it will be very inspiring. Or perhaps clarifying. Thanks for the luck! I can take all I can get!