Since when I was in elementary school, I’ve always told people that I wanted to be one thing and one thing only: a writer.
Not a teacher/writer, not a business woman/writer. Just a writer.
But of course, as I got older, life became complicated and I had to face a problem that wasn’t about getting good grades or fitting in. A problem that we always know we have to face but is reluctant to because it screams reality. The problem of money.
Being broke is part of being a writer. Every great writer gets rejected from a dozen publishers, lives in a one room apartment with a broken toilet, and struggles through self-doubt at one point in their lives. And if I’m being 100 percent honest, I’ve always found the story of the struggling writer compelling and exciting. But that’s only because 1) the story isn’t mine and 2) all the writers I admire eventually found success.
But a lot of writers, if not most, stay in that dark tunnel. After years of struggling, most writers realize that they are going to need to get a job that pays—a “real” job, as my mother would say. And when they become a full-time…whatever, they stop writing.
The impending doom of being a proper grownup with a job and responsibilities started to dawn on me during a conversation with my best friend at the end of last semester.
“1/8 of our college life has already ended,” she said. “And after next semester, 1/4 would have ended.”
“And then we’ll be fourth years, then adults, then old and wrinkly and die,” I concluded.
Now, we’re not the most optimistic of people and my conclusion may have been a slight exaggeration on the speed of time.
However, it’s true that “real life” outside of school is drawing closer and closer. And it may be time for me to stop pretending that being a writer with nothing on the side is a wise career choice. I’m going to have to either accept that life will be a struggle and prepare myself for the worst, or start thinking about what I’m going to be in addition to a writer.
So for the rest of my 7/8 college life (which will be 3/4 after next semester), my goal is to think about my future. Not the embellished “what I want to be when I grow up” version of the future but the raw, unpredictable, and oftentimes tough future that takes a lot of courage to face.