It’s been a few months since I’ve posted here, and if I’m completely honest, it’s been more than a few months since I’ve, you know, actually posted. My most recent posts were scheduled well in advance. Why?
At the end of April, I graduated undergrad. I graduated with High Honors on my honors thesis in Korean Studies, won a prestigious award for Korean Studies, nabbed a second major in International Studies, got a short story published in a college lit magazine, said goodbye to almost all my friends, and started working full-time a day after commencement ceremonies.
Adulting is hard.
It’s also terrifying because I’m doing two seemingly opposing things. One’s commended by everyone I meet. The other? Well, let’s just say not everyone understands why I’m doing it.
Exhibit A: I’m living at home for a year while I pour all my earnings into paying off my student loans (I’m already a little over halfway debt-free). Then I’m going to save all the rest. That’s like, super-adulting, right? I feel like I’ve aged ten years. I spend a lot of time thinking about all the famous authors who had day jobs or side jobs or no jobs. Maybe this is some test I have to pass before I get to do what I really want.
Exhibit B: I’m working on a fantasy novel and finally pursuing the dream I’ve had since I was five and wrote a murder mystery with fairy detectives (it was gripping). I want to be an author. And my dream has grown. I want to publish in English and Korean.
Evenings and early mornings find me surrounded by notebooks and pens and my laptop. I participate in contests, online writers’ groups, and read endless articles about authors and writing and words and things like that. I’m learning how to say no to the countless cool opportunities that come my way, because they’re other people’s brainchildren.
Certainly they’re worthy and I’d love to do all of them. And who wants to give up amazing opportunities for something that might not even work? But I’m not going to forgo my own dreams anymore just because someone offers me an opportunity to help build theirs.
Living like this is exhausting. And exhilarating and frightening and some days I look out the window-slit of my office and wonder if I’m going to end up in a job I hate and never amount to much of anything.
(note: I don’t hate my current job. I work with amazing people who do important work, and I’ll pay off my loans within seven months of graduation. But this is not where I want to stay.)
Yet it takes just one aha moment in writing, one sunburst of inspiration, to get me going again. Then my mind takes wings and my fingers fly across the keyboard, my pen across the page.
I’ve had setbacks. I’ve had moments, days, even weeks where I want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a thousand suns and cry away the world. But then I pick myself up, or someone who loves me does so with words. I remind myself that this is the dream that chose me.
For the first time in my life, I’m choosing it back.
It’s hard. It’s scary. Last night, drowning in some of these fears, I had a thought come to me.
Sometimes the only difference between a setback and a springboard is attitude.
I can face the problems that arise as if they’re setbacks, obstacles on my climb up an endless mountain. Or I can jump on them as hard as I can and launch myself forward. Upward. Towards my dreams. Towards adulting in the way I want to adult.
As a writer.
지금 재생 중