I thought I had my life plan all worked out. Go to college, get a Creative Writing degree with something helpful as a minor, get married, so on and so forth. And so far, it’s working great. I love college, I love writing (obviously). Except having a plan forces me to make some sort of commitment to actually achieving these things, like my happiness is tied to each one of these steps because at one point I thought it was a good idea.

But what if I change my mind? and I might be changing my mind…

I think it’s important to have goals and direction. It keeps me motivated and working hard. But I’m starting to have a change of heart about getting a degree in Creative Writing. I still love writing, but I feel like I’m neglecting half of my personality when I think about going into a job in a high-end publisher’s office. I am not a corporate person at all. I love talking to people, listening to people, and helping people. In fact, the reason I wanted to be an editor was to help people improve their writing. Since I think I have a talent for working with people, I think it would be a waste to not pursue this area of my personality. 

So I thought of being a teacher. And as soon as I came up with the idea, it seemed crazy that I hadn’t thought of it before. My mom was a teacher. I’ve always been a quieter leader, never the person to want to run the meeting but the one everyone can count on to be responsible and get things done. And what better way to combine my two favorite things?

At first I felt bad for wanting to move in a new direction because I had planned so much for having a Creative Writing degree. It felt like a betrayal of myself to change my mind. But that’s silly! If it’s something I really want, I have to be okay with changing my mind and moving on. I know that whatever I end up choosing will be so satisfying to me that it’s worth putting my other interests on the back burner.

One of the most important and rewarding things to me is to see the impact I have left as a result of my work. And if I were a teacher, I could reach so many more people. A teacher is responsible for shaping the way young humans interpret their world. When I think about my academic skills today, I can attribute most of them to specific teachers and things they did to help me acquire that skill. My AP English teacher assigned us an essay every week, and now I’m great at busting out an essay in one sitting. I remember when I learned to count syllables and listen for meter, and in my Creative Writing classes I’m discovering that knowing how to read Shakespeare is not a skill that everyone has. I was so lucky to have such wonderful teachers and I didn’t even know it, but now I appreciate it. And thinking about being able to leave this kind of positive mark on a kid’s life fills me with happiness.

But changing my mind about writing doesn’t mean it has to fall out of my life. I’m still planning on taking Creative Writing courses because I love learning about craft and techniques. And I still plan on writing a book and keeping up this blog. I just realized that maybe writing should be a hobby for me, not a career. And maybe teaching kids how to write will be more rewarding than teaching adults anyways 🙂

Have you ever experience career or directional confusion? What did you do to figure it out?

Art: “Confusion” by Tamra Davidson