Let’s Be (Im)practical

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was in eighth grade.

I haven’t actively and consistently pursued this path since then, but I was in eighth grade when I realized I wanted to be an author.
Or “authoring,” as I told my mom.
I don’t remember the day of the week or month, but I remember following my mother around the salad bar at the restaurant my family still owns and runs. Right by the green beans and baked chicken, I giggled and told her I wanted to go into authoring when I got older.
I quickly corrected my mistake and said I wanted to be an author, but she and I still joke about it.
For almost five years, I wrote random stories here and there, but that was the only time I really talked about my dream. My mother was the only person I told – I told her everything. She was always the one I could be myself with, even if I made up words and giggled too much.
When I was in high school, this seemed like a fantasy – it wasn’t practical. Especially since I was so good at science. I always did well on the tests most others thought were so difficult, and I received the math and science awards. I’d always been so good at science and math and practical things. I was good at being logical, finding solutions to problems, giving the correct answers.
At the time, I thought the correct answer was indeed science. So I pursued a life in medicine, majored in Biology in college, and took the MCAT with dreams of becoming a radiologist.
But the truth was – I was miserable.
I didn’t enjoy any of my classes, except for English and composition. I wasn’t even good at science anymore, barely passing my classes. I bombed – and I do mean BOMBED – the MCAT even though I took all the necessary steps to do well, including the Kaplan course and studying.
Because I was practical and methodical, remember.
None of that panned out in the end, and the worst of it was that I didn’t feel bad about it. I didn’t even care, and I don’t say this now to save face or cover up any hurt feelings because I’m embarrassed.
I honestly felt relieved. Relieved that I could do something – anything – else.
After the plan happily crumbled, covering the ground like light snow and giving me a clean, white slate to begin again, my urge to write only grew. I’d started my first novel as a freshman in college but again kept it secret. It was only a hobby, a way for me to escape my loneliness at the time.
I didn’t talk about wanting to write as a career to anyone until my junior year of college when I told my best friends. Before that, I still was embarrassed to admit out loud that I wanted to turn my hobby into a career.
I finished my first novel four years later and even started two others.
At the end of those four years, I was a college graduate and started working at a bank as branch manager with good benefits and promising future, but I still wrote. I read and wrote all the time. I thought about writing, about my stories and characters floating around in my head to the point where I couldn’t function. I couldn’t function anymore unless I was writing.
But I was too scared to admit to anyone what I wanted. I was too afraid to admit that I wanted to be a writer, even though they don’t always make good money, or any money at all. That I wouldn’t have benefits as a writer. That the competition is too fierce, and I’d never be successful.
After almost two years of working at the bank and becoming miserable again more quickly than I did in college, I decided enough was enough. I told my boyfriend, now husband, of a graduate program in professional writing that I found close by. I told my friends and family that I wanted to go back to school for writing, that I was going to jump off the practical train into looneyville and attempt the writing life.
My boyfriend said that was the first time he’d seen me light up in almost a year. The first time that I seemed excited and driven about anything.
And he was right. I’d done the practical, logical thing my whole life. It made me feel stable and secure with a nice salary and benefits, but it didn’t give me happiness. That path might be right for someone else, but to me, it didn’t fit.
Happiness occurred once I set out to chase my dream, once I met with my adviser, and once I stepped foot on campus at my grad school and started writing. I was terrified, of course, of the transition and uncertainty of what would happen, but above all else, I was HAPPY.
Even though I still don’t know if I’ll make it as an author, I know that I’m content in my journey. I don’t know if I’ll be famous or make any money at all, but I know that I’m happy even just pursuing it with my whole heart. I’ll never look back and wonder what if I’d tried.
I don’t regret my decision to enter into the unknown because I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, fulfilling some divine destiny, a feeling I never experienced before I went back to school.
So, I say to you, be (im)practical – whatever that means for you. Find what makes you happy, no matter what people might think or if you think it sounds silly. If it’ll give you a grand sense of peace and comfort, it’s worth pursuing.
There’s nothing impractical about finding and pursuing your purpose.

13 thoughts on “Let’s Be (Im)practical

  1. I agree with you Georgia everybody should follow their dreams!!Congratulations for your decision don’t be afraid you are a star!!!!✨✨✨✨

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  2. I’m so happy you’re following your dream, girl! I had a similar path…declared I would be an author in the 3rd grade, and spent most of my junior high days writing “fan-fiction.” Only my closest friends knew, and I didn’t think it was worth going after a 4-year degree in college. Wish I would’ve gone into editing for a publishing house. I was almost 40 when I finally pursued my dream, and I’ll never regret it! I think that’s the happiest I’ve ever been. Can’t wait to read your first novel…congrats!

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    1. Aaahh thank you!! Your enthusiasm and encouragement mean a lot!… Yes I know that struggle all too well. The important thing is that you went after it!! No matter how you got there! And it’s worth it to be happy. I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I know it’ll be worth it down the road. Following you and other writers I admire, help me keep going. Much love to you 🙂

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  3. So proud of you!! I still remember when I finally convinced you to send me that first novel, and you had titled the file “genetics” so no one would stumble upon it. It’s been so amazing watching you own your passion & gift! 💕

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  4. So proud of you!! I remember so vividly when I finally convinced you to let me read that first novel, and you titled the file Genetics so no one would stumble upon it. It’s been so amazing to watch you own your passion & gift 💕

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