Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Girls I Might Have Been

I'm jumping on the bandwagon here (originally started by Amy, who was followed by Mark) to imagine what my life would be life if I hadn't become a writer.
Feel free to share a similar post, just please credit Amy.


If I wasn't a writer, I'd have way more free time. I wouldn't have a blog, or be on twitter. I'd get better grades, be in better shape, sleep and read more, and probably be more relaxed.
But if I hadn't gotten on twitter, I'd have way fewer friends, never have become a feminist activist. I'd be missing out on so much.
If I didn't have a blog, I wouldn't have a platform to practice sharing my stories and what I learn and discover and think is cool. I wouldn't be talking to you right now.
If I didn't write fiction, I doubt the thought would have crossed my mind to write a monologue for my school's version of the Vagina Monologues, or to share an activism story on Flyover Feminism.
Even aside from my love of writing, I love so many of the things it's brought me. 

I find it hard to imagine a me who never became a writer, because I've told myself stories for as long as I can remember. But if it weren't for NaNoWriMo, would I ever have learned to finish things?
That was the tipping point, for me, between "stories are cool" and "I write". Now, I see plots everywhere, get shiny new ideas on at least a weekly basis, and can spin webs of interesting possibilities out of anything.

There would be advantages to not having become a writer. But I can't fathom going back. I could no more stop writing than I could become a business major, or take up volleyball instead of running and cross-country skiing.

Amy talked about the different careers she'd be considering, if she wasn't a writer... and it kind of scared me, reading that, because I am in school for engineering. ENGINEERING. That's about as far away from creative writing as you can get.

I worry, sometimes (okay, a lot), that I made the wrong choice, that being an engineer is going to crush my writing, that being a student athlete steals all my writing time, that I'm going to somehow lose this integral part of me.

But at the same time, I managed to do nano this year, I'm going to at least participate in FAWM and the busier I am, the more story ideas I get. It's as if my muse is fighting back.

And the weird thing is, the other what-if, "What if I devoted myself completely to writing?" terrifies me. It would mean changing majors, giving up programming and robots and software, dropping at least one of the sports I love. 

If I devoted myself completely to writing, I wouldn't recognize myself.

I am who I am and I'm not going to be making radical changes anytime soon. But I think that sometimes it's good to visit all the Morgans who could have been, and mourn some parts of them, and be grateful other parts of them don't exist.
It reminds me why I am who I am and why I do what I do. It forces me to realize once again that I have made the right choices.
Even if I don't get much sleep.

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