Many things are changing and so many more things have already done so. Everything seemed to happen slowly and all at once at the same time. This past fall I’ve been asking myself a question over and over not sure I wanted to know the answer and long before that I didn’t allow myself to even consider entertaining the question in the first place.
I withdrew from school. I am no longer a SFA Lumberjack. It’s not a decision that I made lightly, although those close to me would say otherwise. At first the thought of leaving school appeared close to the end of last spring. I thought it was because I had barely scraped out of that year with any kind of GPA. I told myself not to worry about it, that everything was just because I had a hard time adjusting to college life. So, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and continued forward.
At that time I knew two things for certain: I want to write and school was going to get me to my ultimate writing goal; becoming a published author. I went through last summer all the while pushing the question of schooling to the back of my mind. Now that I look back I realized that I was hiding. By the time Fall semester for 2013 rolled around I had trained myself to not think about anything but getting through that semester. I felt like if I considered leaving school I was already admitting failure, that if I left the time I had already invested meant nothing, and I already felt like the money I was taking out loans on to even go to school I was selling my soul for. I didn’t know how to admit to everyone that I had failed, so I stayed. I didn’t want my time there to mean nothing, so I stayed. If I was already selling my soul what was three more years… so, I stayed.
But it turned out that within the first month everything lost its meaning. Classes started to feel like my prison and not the path to a better life. The beautiful campus slowly lost its appeal; its beauty soon became dull and lifeless. Even though I was still making new friends I felt like, even before I allowed myself to think of leaving, that for some reason I wouldn’t know them for long.
By the second month I started skipping class. Not many, not at first. It started with my physics class, the class that would have my absence go unnoticed the least. At first it was just one class every few weeks or so and then I stopped going completely. I’m not sure how many of you are college students or were college students, but semester classes go by fast and by the second exam I already had gotten behind. Physics started out as my favorite class of the semester and by two months in I couldn’t bring myself to care and for me that doesn’t happen because I tend to care about people and things too deeply sometimes. However, I didn’t care when I saw that second exam grade and I couldn’t care enough to notice that I wasn’t caring. Does that make sense?
By the third month I was skipping more of my other classes. I couldn’t care, but it was more than that… I couldn’t feel. By October I was doing the work, just not going to class, but I wasn’t feeling. I stopped feeling the energy of the class, the urgency of getting the grades, the life of the campus, or even myself anymore. And soon everything dropped away.
What was I doing with my time? Well, I was thinking. For the first time since starting school I fully allowed myself to dwell on what I am meant for, if school was really the choice I should have made to start out with. I soon became completely consumed with finding the answer that it all became so overwhelming. At that point in my school career if I so chose to stay I had the time to make the grades. If I chose to stay in school it would mean absolute focus. If I chose to leave then it would mean unconditional commitment to move on with my life and leave school behind forever.
From that point I thought about everything from every possible angle I could conjure on both sides of the argument and I’m a praying woman so I prayed. The moment I asked myself which decision scared me more staying or leaving I knew what I had known the whole time. I knew what I had been too scared to admit to myself.
School is all that I had known. Growing up college was my only option to get out and get away and become everything that my mom wasn’t. It was my ticket to freedom, it was what would make me a writer. College was to guarantee my future. But, I moved out of my moms house and my whole life changed, but for some reason my mindset about college never did.
I completed high school in three years because school and I have always had the worst relationship imaginable. Yes, everyone hates school, wish they didn’t have to go, but for me it was more than that. My whole life I’ve just wanted out, wanted to go see the world. In high school I felt the need to leave so acutely, four years there was just going to be the end of me and so I accomplished it in three, but I didn’t stop to think about much after that. My mind was set on college and so that’s the path I took without considering much of anything else. For the briefest of moments I considered the Air Force, but even that lost its appeal. I was never one for following orders anyway. College was just the next logical thing, so I jumped in with both feet and never fully surfaced… until now.
During this past semester dwelling on this radical decision I soon became aware that if I stayed that would be failing, because school is the safe choice for me to make. Safe for me as a writer and safe against the person I am, for the person I’ve always wanted to become. I became aware that my time spent there wouldn’t mean nothing. I learned more about myself, and the people I met there became the key puzzle pieces to the whole picture. I vowed long ago to never sell my soul, for anything, and that leaving I was taking back what was mine.
By this time I was more into NaNoWriMo than my classes and with my decision to leave had me feeling more like myself than I had ever been in my life. However, by the time I had decided to leave it was already nearing the end of November, but I didn’t care. I didn’t belong there and every turn stood to remind me of that fact. My grades up to that point were nothing to be amazed at and whether I finished that semester or not meant little. Either way I was going to owe back thousands of dollars. At that point I was so far beyond done that I called home asking to be rescued from the lifeless place I had found myself.
My family didn’t understand, they still don’t fully understand, but that’s okay, because hopefully in time they will. Some of them are upset that I didn’t discuss my decision with them before I made it, but with things like this that’s just not who I am. I internalize things. I’m an introvert who most of the time feels everything more deeply than I should and I internalize everything that could cause me the most pain. Those attributes of myself can be a messy, contradiction to happen together, but they do and that’s just who I am. I’m going to discuss certain choices with my friends and my family, but stuff like this, that are this important I will probably always make myself. One reason, is that at the end of it all I want the decision to be mine and mine alone. I want to be able to look back and say the consequences, the results of my choice were MINE and not, in any way, influenced by another. That way if it all goes wrong I only have me to blame and when everything turns out alright, well then I’ll know I can trust myself just that much more in the future; I can be more sure of the person I am. One thing though, my family did come rescue me. And there are still so many members of my family that I have yet to personally tell. (And for those of you whom I haven’t told and are reading this… sorry, but here you have it.)
I know life will be chaotic for awhile and I didn’t expect anything different. But I’m doing odd things here and there to gain some money and hopefully soon, God willing, that I’ll be able to get a car. I’m hoping by this coming summer a job will open up in Colorado at a resort that friends of the family own. I’m betting on that job, but if nothing comes available by then I do have a backup plan. I am already doing the basic steps I need to eventually become a flight attendant.
I’m living at home right now, but the plan is not to live here for long. I’m going to keep writing, which with the changes I’m incorporating and the move, I did not win NaNo this year. I’m really sad about that, but hopefully this time next year I’ll be in a much better place in my life and I’ll try again. For now, however, I’m going to continue writing my novel and I even have smaller projects on the way starting this December.
So, I am no longer in school. I am unemployed, for now, but I still consider this the best step forward I’ve made for myself in a long time. I can feel it. Whatever IT is waiting for me just beyond the next move. Laugh, scoff, or roll your eyes at that admission, but it won’t break my resolve.
My parents keep telling me that I’ve made the wrong choice, I’m sure they see me… I don’t know, incapable now, but it’s okay. I’ll show them soon since they won’t listen to my words. In no way do I feel that leaving school is a mistake. I’m meant to write and I’m meant to see the world. When I was younger I always envisioned the two would happen at the same time. Now I know one is going to happen before the other. And I don’t mean write as in blogging or writing my own personal things that I’m sure will never see the light of day… or for that matter even my NaNo novel I’m writing. No, I always thought I’d be a published writer traveling the world.
But if I have to travel the world working odd jobs to help keep me moving while I write then I will do that. I will gladly do that. That sounds more appealing than sitting in a class room letting grades and how well I can remember and recite dictate my future, dictate how that position will define who I am. So my life has changed. My life is going to continue to change rapidly and repeatedly. One step at a time. One change at a time. Small then big…. or something like that. 😀
This December I’m hoping to start a small story project here on WordPress. I’ve already made a second blog for it. I’m hoping that every Friday I post up a chapter to a small story. I’m thinking maybe six or seven chapters for each story. Not quite a short story, but not quite a novel. I have several Ideas for my first one and I hope you guys tune in to read them. I’ve been wanting to jump into horror for so long now that I think the focus of the first few stories will be on that. By this Friday I hope to have the first chapter up. If you are interested then you can tune in Friday at estelawrites.wordpress.com and support my stories.
I know the blog I’m writing on now, in the beginning, was meant for my writing and I know it’s turned into a tell all about my writing and my life. I think I’m okay with that. But I promise this second one will be just story post based. Nothing else, but the chapters being updated.
Well that’s my life right now. Thanks for reading, even if you didn’t make it all the way through this post. Wish me luck. Until next time.