On Changing Careers And Chasing Dreams

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By De Elizabeth

Today marks the beginning of my last week at the job that I’ve had for the past year, in the career that I’ve held for the past six years. I have five more days until the thing I’ve been doing as a “side hustle” becomes my full-time job. I can type those words a zillion times, reread them a zillion more, and yet I still have a hard time believing it’s real.

I always struggled with the future. I like to have a plan, I enjoy knowing what comes next. In a way, it makes sense that I became a teacher after graduation – an academic schedule was comfortable. It was all I’d ever known. For my entire existence, I lived my life around summer vacations and holidays, leaving school when the bell rang, doing homework when I got home. College was really no different – classes that took up a set amount of time, the same each week, breaks at the same time of year, four times in a row. I always knew what came next.

But somewhere along the line as a teacher I started realizing that there was a whole other part of myself that was – that is – a writer. And for a while, I did both, until it became apparent that I truly could not do both. The past six months, I’ve clung to every second of free time that I had, using every spare minute to write an article, or respond to an email, or do research for an upcoming story. I’ve stayed up late several times a week while getting up at 5am to go to school. To say that I’ve been living a double life feels very accurate.

Over the summer I read a quote that said, “Stress is created by being here, but wanting to be there.” And it made so much sense to me. Sometimes, you cannot do it all. Sometimes, you cannot be both. Sometimes, you must choose.

And that’s not to say that I won’t miss teaching, that there isn’t a huge part of me that resonates with being a theater teacher. I’ve had so many amazing memories teaching theater, working with students and seeing them grow. The satisfaction of closing a successful production greatly outweighs so many other validations, and there’s nothing quite like seeing your vision come to fruition onstage.

But writing is in my blood, it has been a part of me since I was a little kid. In some ways, I haven’t really changed at all; I’ve just become more of who I’ve always been. More like my past self, the girl who would come home every day from high school, make a cup of hot cocoa and write Lord of the Rings fanfiction (yep) in her bedroom. More like the girl in college who would write Livejournal posts every day, sometimes twice a day. This feels right in a way that feels like coming home.

This week, I’ll say goodbye to people I’ve gotten to know in the past year, and say goodbye to this chapter that’s marked the first portion of my post-college life. I’ll say goodbye to a part of myself that’s not gone, but just tucked away for another day. And then I’ll say hello to what I’ve wanted for so long, what I’ve admittedly worked my ass off for.

So, as of Friday, I’ll be a full-time writer. You can follow along on teenvogue.com, and say hi, please don’t be a stranger. And thank you, always, for reading. ❤

{featured image via unsplash}

10 thoughts on “On Changing Careers And Chasing Dreams

  1. cynthiahm says:

    Best wishes to you! I totally relate to your story as I am also a teacher with the desire to write. I’m not so far along as you but I’ve just begun leading that double life so right now I’m trying to do both.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Abby Flynn says:

    “Stress is created by being here, but wanting to be there.”

    This is so, so good and true. Thank you for sharing, and what an exciting step you’re taking! As a fairly new reader as well, I’ve enjoyed your writing a ton and am pumped to see all your new content. Congratulations!

    Like

  3. Lexi says:

    Ah! This is so inspiring. I’m currently a college sophomore that switched from a music major to a fashion business major. It’s a huge and scary change, but I had to make a difference because I’ve fallen in love with fashion and writing about it. I love hearing about others experiencing similar things. Thank you!

    Like

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