Friday, January 20, 2017

You're a Rad Tech major, why're you in a Creative Writing class?

A question I've been plagued with ever since I've made that fateful decision to take the leap of faith and pursue something less... technical and scientific and procedural that is Radiology Technology related.

Well, to be quite honest, the asker of that question would be myself more often than not.

I guess the answer will need a little bit (read: lengthy) of explaining. So buckle up, people! We're going to brave the depths of horror and terror that is the psyche of one Jodee Ann Conui.

It all started when I was in first grade. My mother gave me a notebook, some glittery rainbow-colored gel pens, and the instruction to just write about my day. Of course, being the obedient little child I was, I did so. It didn't take long for me to realize that I liked the act of writing, even if my teacher didn't assign it as homework! And better yet, the realization that I could write stories just like the ones read to me by my teacher sealed my fate.

So it wasn't long before I finished that tiny palm-sized notebook with horribly-written plots and non-descriptive recounts of my day. I know this because I still have that first notebook. (Thanks, mom, for letting me relive the horror whenever I feel like it.)

I'd write with such a fervor, I'd even ask my parents for a notebook for my birthday, Christmas, whenever we went to Target, etc. What kind of crazy child would ask for a stack of paper instead of a toy? I was that child, apparently. At least they weren't expensive, to my parent's relief.

And then, that fateful day when I was in fifth grade: I wanted to be an author.

Not just any author, mind you. A published author. One that kids would write letters to just like in Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, a book my fifth grade teacher read to us one day. I thought it was the coolest thing, and so I went to tell my parents.

Well... long story short, I was dissuaded. So I told them I was going to be a doctor instead, and they didn't argue after that.

Hey, I know what you might be thinking; but no, I didn't stop writing. I just kept it more to myself, and didn't really have any intentions of being serious about it in the future. I've written creatively as assignments for classes before, but they were so full of guidelines and instructions that there wasn't much room for creativity. Also, failing two semesters of high school English bolstered the fact that I'm not cut out for pursuing writing in a serious capacity.

It was only relatively recently, after having episodes of intense disgust at what I was getting myself into (I can't be a doctor! I can't! I don't want to be a doctor! I'm only going to be miserable! I hate all these classes I'm taking!) and the death of someone close to me after instructing me to pursue my dreams despite all the setbacks and roadblocks in my way...

After expressing my distaste for pursuing the idea of going into medical school, I was then faced with the dreaded question: "Well, if you don't want to be a doctor, then what do you want to be?"

As I said before, I consciously dropped the notion of being an author completely out of my mind, so I felt trapped and defeated, and responded with, "I don't know."

"Then become a doctor," was the response my parents more-or-less said. "It's what you've wanted since you were a child."

Ha. Hahaha, no.

I didn't laugh at them, of course, but it felt so futile to explain what felt so wrong about dedicating my whole life into something I felt no drive nor desire for if I didn't have any proof that my feelings weren't a case of "the ever-changing desires of an inexperienced youth."

So I felt like I ambled through life, feeling like I was missing something. That nagging feeling that I was getting myself into a situation I would later come to regret for the rest of my life.

Then it hit me, in my internet search history habits: "how to publish a book," "how to find a book agent," "how to self-publish," etc.; things that I would read just for fun. And it certainly popped up more than searches for "how to become a doctor" and "list of medical schools" and whatnot.

In that, I was reminded of the little girl told that it wasn't a good idea to be an author.

Well, I've never felt more fulfilled and happy in my life after acknowledging that I still want to be an author, and that I don't have to give up absolutely everything to pursue it makes it even better.

Another long story short: I came to a compromise with my parents, and they're okay with me just being a technician instead of a doctor.

So, to answer the question as to why I'm in a Creative Writing class despite already fulfilling my English course credits and all my prerequisites in general: I'm in it as a first real step into following my dream. This time, it's my choice, not someone else's. It's not someone else's plan for my success but my own.

And that's saying something, because in general, I have no backbone.

Whether or not I will get what I need out of the course is yet to be seen, but I hope that I can learn more about my strengths and weaknesses as an author, and to figure out how to utilize them or fix them, respectively.

One thing is for certain: though I may stray from my dream like I have in the past, I know that nothing would be able to change it.

4 comments:

  1. Jodee, I felt really joyful by the end of this blog spot.

    These sentences: "I'm in it as a first real step into following my dream. This time, it's my choice, not someone else's. It's not someone else's plan for my success but my own." -- I love that you made this personal discovery.

    And, for the record, your blogging style is very engaging.

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    1. Thank you so much! It certainly took a lot longer than it should have, but I'm glad to have made this discovery about myself and being able to be in the class just emboldens me even more.

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  2. This was such an inspiring post! I've loved reading what you've written so far. Your stye is so fun to read!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I'm glad you like what I've written so far. I'm still trying out different writing styles, and I'm happy to see that this is working for something casual like this.

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