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Most people know what they want to be when they grow up. "I want to be an astronaut/firefighter/police officer/scientist,” etc. But I didn’t have that kind of experience. Even at 24, almost 25, I’m still having moments of, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” In middle school, the answer would have been, “I want to be a writer.” That was seventh grade when my English teacher told me I had a knack for writing fiction. Class writing assignments came back with near glowing remarks, and the confidence boost was phenomenal. In high school, I was conflicted and changed my mind to “I want to be a teacher.” That lasted until my junior year, and I thought I might like to become a therapist after taking a psychology class. I was really interested in psychological science and brain chemistry until my senior year. When I graduated, I decided that I wasn’t going to go to college right away. I wanted to take at least a year and explore myself as an adult. I wouldn’t call it a ‘gap year’ because I didn’t do any traveling. I rebelled, doing things I hadn’t had the time or freedom to do while I was in school.
When I did finally go to college, I hunted through the course catalog at the local state community college. I sat down with my academic advisor and decided that my Associate's degree would be in human services, and then I would move on to get my Bachelor’s in social work. Where I live, there is a serious need for social workers. I made it through three full semesters of core college courses, completing a full year of course credits. I ended up needing to drop out because life got in the way. (I know. Such a lame excuse, but it’s true enough.)
A few years later, I found myself quitting another dead end retail job because it wasn’t making ends meet and I needed to find something better. I never did get a chance to find that “better” retail job. Life is funny like that. I was in a car accident, which left me with not only physical difficulties but mental ones too. I broke my arm, dislocated my hip, and all but went through the windshield. I was left with permanent damage to my left shoulder and elbow, a fracture to my hip bone, and the constant reminder that one wrong step or fall could be the difference between getting a hip replacement or not. I’ve always had weak hip joints, so I’m extra cautious, but not so cautious that it really impacts my quality of life. I can still do some of the activities I enjoy, but I can’t hike anymore, without regretting it.
The biggest problem I have is the head injury that really changed things for me. At first, they called it a really bad concussion. But it wasn’t that simple. Officially, I was diagnosed with a mild to moderate TBI with greater than 30 minutes of lost consciousness. Because I almost went through the windshield, it was the front of my brain that took most of the brunt. The biggest problem I’ve had is the inability to control my emotions. Emotional lability has made my life a living hell.
But that’s not all we’re here to talk about. Recently, I’ve given my life trajectory a lot of thought. I’ve been writing all along, here and there since middle school, but nothing has come of anything yet. For a long time, I just figured that I would write for me, and write for fun. I didn’t really give much thought into actually becoming a published author because I didn’t figure I had the skill. I looked into starting my own natural skincare line, and then I thought maybe I could be a real estate agent/administrative assistant, etc. You name it, I’ve looked into it. Everything is too much money to invest in for a young newlywed with an inability to control her temper. I do my best, but my best is only as good as the medications I take. And even then, the bad days are just downright bad.
I’ve recently started actually writing consistently, and I’m scraping together the makings of what could be a few novels. Who knows. They could amount to nothing. They could end up being best-sellers. Nobody knows. I’ve taken a small hiatus to have a carpal tunnel surgery done on my left hand (I’m typing this very slowly and with great care so I don’t pop any of my stitches or do any damage. I'm technically not supposed to be typing, but I’m a rebel). My point is, you never know where your life might be taking you, but hang on for the ride and you just might be surprised.
P.S. I do have some of my writing posted and published here if you wanna check it out.