It was there at the tip of my tongue– the admission that I have always thought but never really said aloud. Every cell in my body wanted to admit this thing, this fact about me that I am afraid he would frown upon.
We were lying in our bed, as we so often do, just talking quietly in the dark while we curled together. These are some of my favorite times with my husband. With my head tucked safely into my favorite little spot on his shoulder, I wanted to tell my husband my one true aspiration and dream for my life.
I don’t want to work a single day in my life. I want to sit around, drinking coffee and writing.
Writing– it is the one thing that I obsess over, even though I am a writer with a serious case of ADD. Honestly, he already knows this about me. He knows how I have dreams of publishing one of those New York Time’s Best Sellers. But I have not really said aloud how that is all I want to do. I don’t even care if it brings any money. I just want to write without the obligation of anything else.
I never really admit it because it is a self-centered idea. Writers are notoriously selfish and isolated from the rest of the world. We hide in little corners, immersed and obsessed with our characters, dialogue, and tragedies. It is the single-most selfish thing that I could wish to do with my life, which is really our life, and I desperately want it.
Writing is not a rational career choice, however. Few have the chance to make it big, and it is not always a matter of talent but instead marketability. English majors are so often left with mountains of debt and not a pair of pennies to rub together. This is why I changed my major to business, why I have decided to go for one of those goals that is more like settling than chasing after my dreams. Owning a book store and cafe is somehow more sensible in my mind than pursuing a writing career. Even then, I may run myself into the ground because I’ll spend too much time with my nose in a book.
I did admit to my husband that earning my business degree is more like a second-class goal for me. I have to do something with myself, so why not? He told me the most beautiful thing, though. “You don’t really have to do anything if you don’t want to. I make enough on my own, you don’t even have to work.” He even told me that reading this blog feels like reading the work of a professional on a news site. My heart really soared at this, and I wondered why I am trying to settle.
Don’t get me wrong, owning a book store and cafe is still in the sights for me. It is realistic, and I have some amazing business ideas that really shouldn’t go to waste. But the problem is that I know that it will get to a point where it will lose it shine and luster. I will lose interest in it. I will get tired of sacrificing for it. There will come a point where I want a new business project and the shop will get pushed to the dark corners of my priorities.
Admitting that I just want to write and do nothing else means several things. Firstly, it means that it is entirely possible that there will never come a day when I can contribute to the household’s income. Sure, there are some writers that make it small, that publish independently and make a moderate amount of e-book sales. But the ones who really make a living from writing are the ones who have movies made from their works, and that is a total long shot. Secondly, it means that I have put us in debt with student loans for no reason. I will have earned two degrees and I will do nothing with them. He will be responsible for the debt that I have incurred.
How is that a fair choice for him? How could I leave him to work while I get to sit at home writing? I think that I have never seriously admitted to wanting to write full time because I’m afraid of being seen as lazy. It seems like such an indolent career, if it could even be called a career, because there is no real labor in the work. When all he does is labor-oriented, when he works so hard, how would it be right for me to do something that is such the opposite?
I think that my real question here is how do we choose passion over rationality?
How do we choose to do that which we love most when the world says that it is not the sensible thing to do?
When we crave to color outside the lines, how do we force ourselves to keep it neat?