Honestly, deciding that I wanted to write was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I still struggle with it daily. I wonder if I am wasting my life. I fear that I am disappointing my parents, particularly my mother, who just wants me to do more, and have more, than she ever did. I know that I am wasting my degree. I have wasted four years, countless hours of stress and hard work, and thousands of dollars.
And yet, I know that this is what I want to do. Despite that surety, despite the feeling in my gut that tells me this is what I want, I worry.
I spend hours thinking about what to do with my life.
Should I pursue psychology? Even though I know I would only be doing it to make my parents happy, and to meet the expectations that the people I know have for me.
Should I look into another career? Something book related, but practical. Should I get some kind of qualification in publishing and editing, in the off chance I will land a job? Should I get an unpaid internship, despite needing money for rent/food/books/life etc? Should I move to someplace better suited to editing and publishing, like Sydney, London, or New York? (I chose Sydney purely because it would be the best place to go that didn’t involve leaving Australia).
Should I stay where I am? Risk wasting my twenties in a dead end job, in the hopes that I can beat the odds, publish, and actually become successful?
Should I just say, ‘screw it all’ and travel? I love Europe, and I can’t think of anything better to feed my muse than to live overseas. But, what about my stuff? My place? My friends? My family? How can I leave that all behind?
I cycle through these thoughts every day. I look at my friends, at the people I went to university with, even sometimes at the people in my home town, and I feel lost. Everyone else seems so sure of themselves, they seem to know where they are going.
Friends, family, old acquaintances are constantly asking me, “So what are you doing now?”. And each time I don’t know how to respond. How do I tell these people that after all of my talk about university, about clinical psychology, about the places I was going, that I finished my degree and, nothing.
“I’m writing a book.”
It seems such a feeble response to that inevitable question. It took me months to work up the courage to tell anyone. And I still hesitate every time.
Despite my hesitations, my fear, my worry, I still know that this is what I want.
But, how do I quiet the voice in my mind that tells me that what I want doesn’t matter?
Of all the questions I ask myself, that is the most important. I know what I want, what I am passionate about. That should be enough. But it is not.
I am only 23.
And yet, I still feel compelled to figure out exactly what I am doing with the rest of my life.
Whether that is a fault within myself, or society, I am not sure.
All I have are questions.
And my only answer: I want to write.
I am just not sure if that is enough.