Taking a Different Path.

“Time is not measured by the passing of years, but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves.”
~Jawaharlal Nehru



The ironic thing about vacations? Somehow everything seems even more hectic and busy when you get home. I’ve been playing catch-up this week, and although that’s led to some crazily early mornings and long days, I’ve been enjoying every minute. I’m back to working on both writing projects simultaneously, which took a few days to feel like the norm again after focusing solely on my current book while I was at the shore. I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to work out some type of schedule where I can still write both, but also concentrate on each one exclusively for extended periods of time. The problem with that, though, is that I’m still SO. RIDICULOUSLY. EXICITED. about the manuscript I’m working on that the idea of setting it aside for anything longer than a day just doesn’t work for me. I’m simply too eager to keep writing it, to keep letting the characters take me on a journey along with them.

I found that with With a Little Bit of Luck, too. No matter how many potential ideas I had in mind, some would invariably end up twisting, bending, and being molded into different shapes as I worked. Sometimes characters really do have minds of their own. I started off with a more detailed and thorough outline this time, but even so, Sofie and the cast of supporting characters really do just insist on doing things their own way quite frequently. And yes, I am well aware of how ridiculous that probably sounds, but it’s something I’ve learned through writing. Sometimes you just have to let the characters lead and follow them down whatever paths they blaze.

Speaking of paths, something that happened while I was on vacation really got me thinking. I had a chance to visit with Christina, one of my friends from college. She was actually my first friend at Arcadia, and I shall forever remain grateful that she saved me from the monstrosity of a bug that landed on my shoulder just before our very first Intro to Communications class during our freshman year (seriously!). We haven’t seen each other since our graduation five years ago (forget about time flying, it seriously just speeds by), and it was absolutely wonderful to catch up. You know how with some people, you can just pick up where you left off, as though no time has passed at all? That was definitely the case. Getting to have dinner and chat with her and her husband was a surprise bonus to the trip, one I thoroughly loved. Somewhere in our conversation, we touched on our fellow classmates and what everyone’s doing now. It was interesting to compare the “thens” with the “nows.” Some people have careers in the field they were pursuing in college, others have changed course and gone in a different direction. Some are happy, some long for something more. It makes you stop and think – how much can things change in five years? It’s really an unbelievable amount sometimes.

2005 thesis class

For me, I’ve gone from being focused solely on journalism to wanting nothing more than a career as a published author. Am I still passionate about journalism? Yes, but not in the way that I’m passionate about creative writing. There’s a freedom and joy there that I couldn’t have possibly understood until I experienced it. Where will I be in another five years, when our tenth reunion rolls around? It’s impossible to predict the future, but I surely know what I hope and pray it will hold. I know with certainty what road I want to continue walking down. Yes, there will be twists and turns along the way, but the path is clear. And above all? It’s a journey I’m so excited to keep taking.

What about you? What were you doing five years ago? Where do you think you’ll be five years from now? Are you following the roadmap you planned for yourself, or have you veered off in an entirely (or somewhat) different direction?


7 thoughts on “Taking a Different Path.

  1. hmm, well five years ago i was a freshman in high school…wow, was it really that long ago? I remember i didn’t like freshman year until i got into the school musical. Even then, i was really quiet and didn’t have a whole lot of good friends, just acquaintances. It’s funny, i’ve kind of come full circle where i’m back to having a lot of acquaintances instead of super tight friends now. I’m struggling again to find my niche, and finding where i belong is one of my goals for this school year.

    I still have similar goals as i did then (writing/singing), and i think i’ve always sort of known what i wanted to do. I’ve just never been sure how to get there. Now i’m focusing more on that, and hopefully i’l get there soon!!!

    And yay for working on both projects at once! i give you credit for being able to keep yourself organized! :]

    • Ah, why am I not surprised to hear that the musical was a turning point for you? I’d imagine that has to be an experience that really makes you see things differently and helps immerse you more in the heart of the community/school. Hmm … you know, maybe it’s a good thing to start off with many acquaintances. Each one has the potential to turn into a wonderful, lasting friendship. Finding that niche in college can definitely be challenging, and I’d imagine that has to be even more true at a big school like PSU. I have absolute faith that you’ll do it, though, and that you’ll find some incredible people to welcome into your life in the process!

      Don’t you think it’s so telling when your goals stand the test of time like that? It’s proof that you know exactly what you’re meant to do! I know you’re going to get there soon, and I expect autographed copies of all your books ;-)

      Thank you!! It’s definitely a lot to balance, but I’m loving every minute!

  2. Five years ago, I was a senior in high school, WOW!! Can’t believe its been that long since then. Back then, I didn’t know what my goals and career plans were and to this day, I still don’t know what my purpose is in life. After I graduate this semester from college, I plan on doing an online program for medical transcribing but to be honest, I’m not sure if thats what I REALLY want to do with my life. It seems as if becoming a writer is something you were meant to do and because of that, you’ve been working really hard towards that goal. For me, I don’t know what that is and its so frustrating sometimes. I mean, I really love singing but I feel because I’m so introverted, its never going to work (all singers have to be extroverted, right?) I’m perfectly happy being an introvert but at the same time, I feel like that aspect of my personality is holding me back from doing what I might truly want to do with my life.

    • Isn’t it crazy how time flies? It’s amazing to think of how much happens in just five years!

      You know, finding that purpose in life can be a different process for everyone. Some people might know right away, but it seems like so many others learn through doing. Maybe we have to live the life we want in order to really know? It’s hard to know whether the medical transcription job will be something you enjoy until you actually start. Just immersing yourself in an experience can show you so much about it – and about you, too. I definitely feel that way about writing. I guess it goes back to knowing what I’d want to do for a career above everything else. Do you think that’s singing for you? Maybe being introverted doesn’t have to hold you back. Maybe it’s just a challenge to overcome and not an obstacle that you can’t knock down. Going outside of our comfort zones is so, so hard, but sometimes it’s worth it!!

  3. Well, I can’t change being an introvert, its just part of my personality. Its not like shyness, which can be overcome. Another thing thats holding me back is anxiety and depression, which is very frustrating.

  4. You just blow me away. Honestly. I am blown away by your confidence!! Amazing. No fear. Full steam ahead. Strong work ethic. God…its amazing.
    Anxiety, depression, wow, the commenter above touched on stuff that I relate to. Low self-esteem.
    ANyway your last two entries you raise excellent questions.
    This one – I’m 29 years old and NOT where I’d thought I’d be (poor health and poor employment and finances situation…rock bottom)…
    and you’re other question…I have 3 wishes alright…but I just want to say that I love your 3 wishes :)

    • Aww, well thank you so much on all counts! Honestly, I am not that confident of a person in many areas of my life. It’s actually something I’ve always tried to work on. One of the only things that I can say I’m truly sure of is how passionate I am about writing. Yes, the journey is intimidating, and I definitely have my moments – I think we all do – but I love it too much to ever give up.

      I’m so sorry to hear that things haven’t turned out how you’d hoped and planned. Obviously I don’t know your exact situation, but hopefully things can only get better from here on out. That’s the thing about not being where you want – you can only go up from here. In the meantime, I’m sending get well thoughts your way!

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