I’m the kind of person who likes to throw myself into things, as evidenced by my long history of doing just that.
In little school I was devoted to figure skating, then in high school it was acting. Both had varying degrees of success (many medals and a strange, embarrassing YTV show where I talk to a lava lamp). During the rest of high school (after the acting business) I threw myself into raving, with all its trappings, and excelled at it; dancing for days on end, getting high and staying out late enough to constantly worry my mom (sorry mom!). When I left high school I committed myself to being a crazy, world travelling hippie and focussed on my commitment to visiting ‘power points’ that had something to do with Ley lines and energy or some such bullshit. Then came a dark time where I committed myself completely to two people in such a fervent manner that it led me to a pretty bad place. In the midst of that I also threw myself into a potential event planning career path which wasn’t ultimately my bag.
So I’m a pretty dedicated person when I put my mind to it.
After the dark times I threw myself into writing completely. I wrote four novels and over 50 short stories in the span of two years and loved every minute of it, then I decided I wanted to pursue science and now here I am.
But because I tend to be very focussed I have this feeling that if I’m not focussed completely and entirely on the thing I’m passionate about, then I don’t care enough about it and therefore I actually hate it and will ultimately fail at it.
Shit, that spiralled out of control pretty quickly.
With a mindset like that you could see how this would lead to complications with finding a balance between writing and school.
When I first started school for science I was pretty focussed on it. I had to get into the rhythm of the classes and realize it was something I could actually do. But while I worked away at school I had a nagging sense of guilt about ‘abandoning’ writing. The fact is I didn’t abandon it at all, but I thought I had just because I wasn’t giving it every last bit of my attention, which is a pretty flawed way of thinking.
Ultimately my brain is balancing things out for me naturally as I grow accustomed to school and need to give it less full-time attention. Sometimes I think about writing stuff, sometimes I think about science stuff, and sometimes I just think about sitting around in my underwear, eating chips and playing Zelda with Ben.
I think the main point of this story is not to stress about it if your focus shifts a bit here and there as time goes on. Just because you have a variety of interests and passions doesn’t mean your goals are any less achievable or focussed. In fact I know from experience it’s detrimental to focus all of your energy on just one thing. Life is about balance and finding it might not be easy, but it’s definitely necessary.