So here we are again, sleep and I, estranged and unloving bedfellows. We should be snuggling up, enjoying some dreams about sexy television stars (my friends know I’m a sucker for Castiel from Supernatural), but alas, we are parted by silence and unkind stares. That’s a super dramatic way of saying I took a nap this afternoon after doing the last of my holiday shopping (I’m really done, I swear this time!) and now I can’t sleep. So I decided to update here.
My writing has taken a back seat to a big dilemna in my persona life right now. For a very long time, I’d been deciding what to do for a future career. There was always a large part of me that was drawn to law enforcement and another huge, galloping, tremendous part of me that wanted to be a writer. When I entered college, I was sure that no matter what happened, I couldn’t take up writing as a career because there was no future in it. The world is full of people saying that they have a novel that they’ve been writing, and even those who do get into the business are usually poor, starving things who hope to not be a hack and want to be as big as the big names they’ve always looked up to. Me, I wanted to be able to pay my bills and eat, so I chose to go into film. Yeah, I was real smart. Lookit me. S-M-R-T. End of college and I realize I not only didn’t want to get into film, it wasn’t going to make me happy and I wasn’t motivated by it. So I decided to seek out the things I love in life. That came down to becoming a cop or writing.
Two diametrically opposed notions, right? Most definitely.
I took the police exam, and aced it. Like, flying frickin’ colors. I looked at the possibility that, if I lost weight and got in shape, I could legitimately be a police officer. It’s a good job. It’s something I wanted to be since I was a little girl. It’s a career I can be proud of. There is just one problem.
I’m a writer. I wake up wanting to write. I breath writing. I talk about it constantly. I have ideas for stories coming out of my ears. And when I’m not writing, I’m not happy.
If I became a cop, there would be no time for writing, no energy. I would be breaking my head to become the physical specimen that I would need to be to become a police officer. I wouldn’t be able to write, consistently, in any way that would be good when I’d be tired all the time.
So while I was waiting for the local hiring freeze to wear off for the police department, I decided instead to go to graduate school for writing. I came up with some great ideas of where to go. I went to some open houses. I got some great feedback from teachers, from people I spoke to at these schools. It seemed that I could get my MFA, teach, and go forward as a writer and teacher. The idea thrilled me. It made me so happy I can’t describe. Sure, I’d be giving up one dream to live another. It was less sure, however, monitarily. In fact, it meant wagering a lot on how good I might be, and that… is less something I can do with a clear conscience. But I had decided.
Just as I was filling out applications, the police department called to start processing my application. The hiring freeze is over.
So now the dilemna begins. Do I go forward with the police department or graduate school? Which part of my heart do I follow?
I’m still writing. I’m trying to find money for graduate school applications. I am, in fact, working my tail off to get all this lined up by the deadline. I have less than a month to get most of these out and filled out. But the fact is, nothing is for certain. The police department is less certain because of my weight. Grad school is also uncertain because they don’t take everyone. Nothing is for certain but I keep trying anyway so at least one of my dreams can be fulfilled.
Where writing fits into all that, I don’t know. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I’ve just really begun, and I won’t let that go now.