Never Resist Your Nature – Especially at a Crossroad

Not too long ago I shared an essay (My Future’s Not in Hamburgers) that I wrote as part of my application to a Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Falmouth.

The timeline was extremely short:

  • December 4: Found out about the program
  • Dec 5: Decided to apply (surely I had missed the deadline, I thought)
  • Dec 6: Submitted the application (luckily I took that Creative Writing course or I would not had enough recent writing samples)
  • Dec 17: Phone interview – OFFERED A SPOT!
  • Dec 18: Dug up some money to pay the acceptance fee and applied for a loan
  • Dec 20: Loan approved, ordered books for classes; have moments of shock and horror (what have I done?) which turned to happiness and hope

I start January 13!

Ireland, County Kerry.

Ireland, County Kerry.

Been Resisting my Nature

I sent myself an email a year ago. All it said was

Make more money. Freelancing?

Admittedly, I have spent more money than earned it on these endeavors (the creative writing course, this masters…) but I have to believe I am still on the right path.

The challenge ahead of me is not that great compared to what others face every day (poverty, war, prejudice, all the nasty stuff). But if I internally acknowledge what I want to achieve during my time on this planet, it is that I want to do something memorable and leave a legacy of something amazing. I have never known—still do not know—what that could be, what it will be, how to make it happen—but every time I analyze my existence and try to figure out what to do next, it usually boils down to these key driving forces:

  • I need to work until I am (at least) 80 because there will be no pension money left coming to me from any of the countries where I have lived.
  • I have no savings. But that is because I keep moving overseas and spending money on education (OK, and wine, and travel, and other stuff…you got me)
  • I like writing, always have, but I keep resisting it.

What do I mean by resisting my nature? In general, I take the logical route, the one that pays the bills (currently, technical writing) instead of letting myself dream of bigger possibilities. I love movies and TV, so why is it not reasonable to imagine myself writing screenplays? There is no reason to write a novel if I like writing short stories. It is not okay to write popular fiction instead of being academically brilliant?

Why Do I Resist Myself? I am Irresistable After All

Rhetorical question, that. But here is a simple example of why I have often made particular choices over the years.

In 1986 I moved to London, England. I was only 18, with minimal job experience. On the same day I had job offers from two places, each paying the same (abysmal) salary. One job was at a bookstore, the other at an Italian deli in Soho.

The deciding factor? I got free cheese, salami, and pasta at the deli. I guess I would have got a discount on books, but you cannot eat books (unless it is an emergency, I guess).

Most of my decisions in life, why I take one path and not another, have been based on similar logic. Not always, of course, but quite often.

At this crossroad, it seems that I can finally choose both options. That is, if I become a food writer. Or maybe I will write about mental health, or maybe I will become a screenwriter, or maybe I will write about cats, or maybe…the list is endless. The future is bright again.

Sheep traffic jam in Dingle, Ireland

Sheep traffic jam in Dingle, Ireland

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9 thoughts on “Never Resist Your Nature – Especially at a Crossroad

  1. Best Wishes Amanda! For this new chapter and the New Year in general.
    Merely the title of this post evokes many thoughts and reflections in my own head and I have reflected much on those sentiments expressed in the body of this article. Know this: You are a writer.

  2. I agree, you should never resist your nature, from time to time, you have to put up with things (and people, bosses, etc) that you don’t like, but I believe that the small steps that you take, will lead you in the right direction to finally take the big step.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for your excellent blog, I enjoy reading every post.

    PS
    I bet you know where this christmas card would fit perfectly
    http://www.stanford.edu/~tplarson/Lawyer's%20Christmas%20Card.pdf
    DS

  3. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it
    to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never
    wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

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