What do you want to be when you grow up?

“But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.” – Digging, Seamus Heaney


Hello, Internet Peoples! I hope that everything is good with you today.

Ever since I got back from France, I feel like everyone’s been asking that dreaded question more and more frequently- “What are you going to do when you leave uni?”. I think  that the year abroad gave me a kind of shield for a while- people were more interested in knowing where I’d be going, what I’d be doing, and how nervous I was. I was protected from having to answer the question. But here we are at the end of my time, and every few days, I get the question. And my automatic response has always been “I don’t know”, because that’s the safe response; because saying “I’d like to do something with writing” out loud is scary! But after talking to a very wise woman a few days ago, I’ve realised that you can’t live in fear of other peoples’ opinions forever. Why is it so hard to admit that I’d like to do something creative which makes me happy? When I think of all of the other creative people in my life- the film makers, the writers and poets, the artists, the photographers, the musicians, the actors- did I laugh at them when they told me what they wanted to do? No! I was so excited to know very groovy people who were talented and driven by passion.
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am when someone I know tells me they’re writing a book. The thought of holding a piece of their creativity in my hands, flicking through the pages of their imagination, is incredible.
The thought of having my own little cluster of pages between my hands is all at once the most exciting idea, and the most terrifying.
Maybe it’s the fear of rejection, or the idea of people laughing at what we’ve poured our hearts and souls into, that holds us back.
Maybe it’ll work out, and maybe it won’t. Both of those scenarios are okay, and if it’s the latter, then I’ll decide what to do with myself when that happens.
All I know is, I was never cut out for a “practical” job. I was never “science-minded”, and so I was never going to be a doctor, a dentist, a vet, a nurse, an engineer, anything like that. I live with three, fabulously gifted-in-the-science-department-sorts of people, and there I am, the dirty humanities student in the middle. They are the ones with the spades, and I’m sitting with the squat pen observing, analysing.
So, I don’t know exactly what I want to do- and that’s totally fine, too. What I do know is I’d like to do something with writing, and so I’ll keep working towards that.
Am I crazy? Probably. Seeing as I’ve been walking around the house reciting my French tour notes to my daddy for the past half hour, definitely.
I’ll leave you with this happy picture of me below, drinking delicious coffee in Amsterdam when my creativity was triggered by that beautiful city.
Peace out,
Amber xo

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Kimber says:

    When I was a kid, I liked watching the news. I thought the most important people were the ones who told us what was going on in the world, told us what to think and why to think it. So when I was asked by my Gran what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “I want to be a refugee.”

    I’d meant to say “journalist”, of course, but mixed up the writer with the content that I most closely associated with them.

    1. Amber says:

      Haha that is brilliant!! I always wanted to be a painter (of houses etc) because my dad used to do that- things have changed!

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