Via Writer's Digest on Twitter, through the magic of LiveJournal, the interwebs brought this article on life after high school, writing, education and the like. It needs to be read by anyone in high school, or who went to high school, or... well, has lived.
As someone who exited high school, with supportive parents, entering what I thought would be a pit-stop at my local college on a road to bigger and better schools and experiences and ended up staying there for five years, I can say that 'life happens' applies to myself as well -- and all of us.
I honestly believe everything Libba Bray says in her post is true and applicable, especially to young creative types, but really to everyone. The pressure our faster-better-more-NOW, climb to the top and don't worry about who you step on, technology is god and we need to feed it and praise it with our time, money and energy every second of the day, puts on everyone is mind-boggling. Add to that the pressures of peers, friends, family, co-workers, anyone we come into contact with who think they know what's best for our lives... it's a wonder we don't all crack up and spend some quality time in a padded room alternating between fetal-positioned comatose states and fits of maniacal screaming.
However, it's not like there's a roadmap to life, as Libba states and many others have before her. Whatever wool society tries to pull over our eyes, no one has the answers to what makes for a successful, happy, productive life -- because each of those terms mean something different to every individual person. And those ideas can change as we get older and gain in experience because we are ever-changing creatures. What sounded like the Best Life Ever in high school can change in a few short years -- or not. While I thought I knew myself and everything about who I was and how I wanted to be and the life I wanted to have my senior year in high school, come four years later I'd lost it all. Now, in my late twenties, I'm (in many ways) more confused than ever. I champion anyone who knows what they want and goes for it, because it didn't work out for me and I now don't know what I truly want anymore.
Yet would I sacrifice the relationships I've formed, the experience I've gained, the life I've lived to go back and try again? Some days, yes. When I really stop and consider the most important people in my life and how they've changed me for the better, the answer is 'no.'
I'm still stumbling along, map and compass-less, on the road to growing up and maddening as it is I know I'm not alone. I also have faith in the universe, and myself, that when I discover what I want to be when I grow up, achieving that -- whatever it is -- will be possible. Because I'm a fighter. Benevolent bad-assery is actually a specialty of mine.
And whatever I decide to do, or whatever life throws at me, I know writing will be a part of it because when everything else is stripped away from me (and it has been before -- or at least it felt that way), the one aspect of self that never leaves is my drive to write, to create, to shoot my little fingers off expressing the words and thoughts constantly swirling (often screaming) in my head.
I also know a good number of people who make really good snacks and rate high on the Share-O-Meter when it comes to snacks. People who give you snacks, and tea, are worth keeping in your life no matter where you find them.