When I was a freshman in college I knew all I wanted todo was write. I had already decided that basketball wasn’t what I wanted and that writing was going to fulfill me. (That is another story for another day.)
I had an amazing english teacher who saw my passion for reading and writing. She took me under her wing; she gave me extra assignments and weekly meetings outside of our scheduled class times. The extra work didn’t feel like work; it felt like fun.
One day she said, “Ro, you are a great writer. What do you want to do in life?”
I responded with what I knew. “I want to be a writer.”
She said, “Well what are you going to get your degree in?”
I said, “Creative writing.”
Her response would break me.
She said, “Oh no! You can’t do that. You will never make any money with that degree.”
I don’t remember her name anymore and I barely even remember what she looks like. I know she meant me no harm, but if I knew then what I know now I would have never let that derail me.
I am a creative writer. I am in a place where I am embracing it. I am allowing myself to be comfortable knowing that this is what I love to do, whether anyone ever reads my work or not, I feel comfortable knowing this is my place — this is home for me.
But that moment derailed me. It took me away from my focus. I lost my way. My motivation for being in school was drained, and eventually, I stopped going.
I hadn’t learned how to trust myself. I was ignoring my own instincts; my internal compass was telling me where I needed to be. Life is beautiful in how it will bring you to where you are meant to be — where you want to be — even after you have ignored it before.
There are different reasons as to why we ignore what we want. Sometimes we feel like they are unacceptable or maybe we think we can’t be successful or make money doing it. We can lie to ourselves and try and fill the hole with other things. But sooner or later, we have to be honest with ourselves about what it is that we truly love. And then we have a choice. Either we follow that love or we continue to pretend.
Alexi Panos, motivational speaker and life coach, asks the question, “What is your highest excitement?”
My highest excitement is, and for as long as I can remember, has been writing. And when we find that place, there aren’t many feelings that quite compare to it.
But there is a cost. Following your highest excitement comes with a sacrifice. Sometimes it means that you have to reject societies idea if what you should be and begin creating your own vision for your life. It can be scary and uncertain, but what you gain from the process is priceless.
I can’t help but think if I had chosen earlier to commit to writing where I would. But I am grateful for the path I have taken and I am grateful for where I am now. I feel like I am coming full circle.
As they say, “All roads lead home.”