So I did something yesterday. Something kind of big. I decided maybe Valentine’s Day would be a good day to do this thing. Because what better way to show myself love than by taking a huge step towards my biggest personal goal?
I should back up a little bit. Last year, I submitted my application to UW and to the school of social work. And then I waited. For months and months, I waited. I was convinced I would get in; I had to. All the plans I’d made to that point had fallen through. Of course I didn’t realize the best part of my life was yet to come; I couldn’t. I was too heartbroken. I submitted my application, then days later, my relationship ended. Acceptance to UW became my lifeline, the thing I told myself would make everything else okay.
I was not accepted. And instead of being devastated, like I expected, I just moved forward. By the time the letter of rejection came, I’d seen a glimpse of the life ahead of me, a new life of sparkles and dancing, fake eyelashes and intense joy. I was okay. I was actually more than okay. I just promised myself I would try again the next year.
Then something happened that changed everything. I had coffee with a Paul. Everyone should have a Paul. And as we caught up on each other’s lives over spicy chai and smoky espresso, I shared my disappointment about not being accepted to UW and the school of social work. My Paul listened to me for awhile and then broke in, apologizing for interrupting but explaining that he was confused. Why, he wondered, was I going to school for social work? I explained that it seemed like the best option for me; it could lead to many career paths and I’d be helping people, which I enjoy. He nodded. And then he told me he remembered one of our first conversations in our friendship, during which we talked about career goals and our futures. He remembered asking me what I would do with my life if I could do anything. “I’d write,” I answered, all those years ago.
Back at coffee, my Paul asked me if that had changed. Was social work my new passion? I explained it wasn’t, but writing wasn’t a sensible major. I had to be smart, I explained. I had to choose a responsible major that would offer me options after graduation.
And then he said the thing that changed everything.
“I just don’t understand how the best option for you is one where you aren’t pursuing your passion.”
He was right and I knew it. For the next few months, as I prepared to submit a second application, I kept coming back to our conversation. Social work or writing? The safe path or the leap of faith?
Then I remembered my motto. Let’s just see, I tell myself. So I decided. And now, I’d like to share the last paragraph from my personal statement with y’all: