Career Development


(Sunday) October 14, 2007

It’s time to get personal.

For the first time in my life, I have no plan, no direction, and no control. Ever since I was little I knew a few things:

1) I wanted to be a writer.
2) I wanted to go to college.
3) I wanted to achieve success as relative to my own terms (i.e. being a writer and going to college).

As my dear friend Josh once told me, I am a writer and I always have been. So, I’ve got that one covered.
I graduated from Lock Haven a year ago. Mark 2 down.

But what about my successes? I feel so lucky for everything I’ve already accomplished, but I can’t help but want more — I want a career.

I want to be a published writer; I want to help other writers realize their dream, too. I know that I’ve done a lot already, things that I consider successful — I’ve finished the first revision of a book I’m editing, I was accepted into a pretty competitive writer’s workshop, I did actually graduate from college and managed awards and scholarships along the way. So why can’t I just be satisfied? 

Because I know there’s more that I want…I just don’t know how to get it.And now I feel like I’m in a crossroad and I don’t know which way is the right-of-way, worried that one step off the sidewalk may have me going the wrong direction down a one way street. Whoever said that your twenties was the best time of your life had it right — and wrong. I have the freedom to do whatever I wish — to travel (which I’ve been doing and I’ve loved), to try out new experiences (two jobs down and still searching, thanks very much), and to continue cementing who I am as an individual. But with so much freedom, there is still so much that can hold me back.

Nevermind the finances — if I even had all the money to do the things I wish to do, I still don’t know what the right path is for me. Do I stay with a steady job and give up my dream, as so many are prone to doing? Do I go after my dream and erase all stability? Is my dream plausible, or am I grasping at wisps of memories from my childhood — like a child wanting to be a fireman, but not truly understanding what that means.

So now I’m scheduled to take the GREs at the end of the month, with the hopes of getting into Emerson. I know it’s a long shot, and for reasons I shouldn’t, I still doubt myself. At the same time, I also know what I’m capable of — but how do you say to someone, give me a chance, let me show you what I can do? How do you convince someone that you will exceed all of their expectations if they only give you the opportunity? And then I wonder if I’m only going to grad school because it’s an excuse to put off the inevitable — of settling for a job that is mediocre, that isn’t in my field, that isn’t my dream. Will this pursuit really open up doors or will it only put me further into debt?

What will really make me happy?

I’m at a loss. For the first time in my life, I don’t know what direction to take — and how crucial this decision is, because it will, in essence, truly decide the rest of my life. Forego my dream and find stability? Or take a chance, risk disappointment (and eternal debt), and dare to make that dream become a reality?

For the first time in my life, I’m not in control of my future, and it both confuses and scares the hell out of me. For the first time, I need to take a step back, learn to let go and just let it happen.

So for now, I suppose, I can only take small steps and hope that they lead me in the right direction. Maybe by taking the test, it will set things in motion, showing me what the right path was all along. Maybe afterwards things will fall back into order, giving me a clear vision of my future, as has always happened before. Because being accepted or not, at least I won’t wonder “what if.” At least I’ll know that I tried and it will show me that this path isn’t the one that is meant for me.

At least I’ll know.

And then…then I can move on.



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