I hope your holiday season is merry and bright! I’m in the middle of final papers, submitting final grades, and everything else that comes with the end of a semester. Fall semesters seem to be especially difficult because there is balancing the holidays — finding the best deals, lots of home-cooking, and trying to get the whole family to smile for a holiday photo.
I have also been reflecting a lot during this season. We are about to enter a new decade, full of promise and possibility. It feels like the sun is rising. I felt this way, too, when 2010 began to rise. 2010 was an especially important year for me because it was the first year I seriously self-identified as a writer. I told myself: if you want to be a writer, prove it. Write every day for an entire year. And I did. I wrote about people on the blog I created, “365 Faces, 365 Days.” I spent a moment to cherish an interaction with someone and share that on the internet. This was pre-Instagram days, but I felt, even back then, that technology was already inhibiting the way we connected with others.
Once I neared the end of that year, I gave myself the opportunity to apply to MFA programs, and I got in my first year of applying to a great school. Then I guess I never turned (fully) back.
But I thought about it.
Coming out as someone who chooses a creative path comes with a myriad of consequences — the low to no pay, people may not respect your decision, or not get it — but you get it, and that’s why you do it. At least, that’s why I do it. And trust me, I have tried to quit writing. I went back to school to be a real estate agent, but that was a no. Then I went back to a community college for another semester to take chemistry and calculus, pre-requisites to apply for medical school (I’d wanted to be a dermatologist). But when I lost my chem notebook, I decided to take it as a sign. I didn’t finish both of those semesters. And I’m someone who commits to finishing everything.
So I think those of you who are reading this — who decided to fight for the passion you cannot quit — know you are not alone. And if this year, you want to try something else on. Why not?
I believe in you. I believe in us.
I hope and dream that my 2020s will be the decade of babies — book babies and real babies.
What is your dream for the new roaring twenties?
In 2020 I am coming out with another yearlong project, and I promise I’ll announce it soon. I’m so excited to have you on this journey.
Yesterday, the three of us had an impromptu photoshoot — it was fun, and I must say, Bennett, is a photography star! He took that first one of me. 🙂
Know that I’m thinking about you this holiday season, if your heart is full of joy or if it’s hurting, you are in my good thoughts.