Hello! As I’m sure regular readers (and anyone who follows me on twitter) have realized, I haven’t been able to post here very often lately. This is just an update to tell you the long story explaining why I’ve been so MIA lately (read on below) and to let you guys know that there will be a few new posts coming soon, followed by a more regular schedule in about a month or so. So stay tuned!
Those of you who know me in real life likely already know this story, but just in case anyone else was wondering what’s been up with me lately:
When I was thirteen, I took a Psychology class at a summer program that I attended at a local college. I loved learning about the subject, and I decided that I wanted to become a psychologist. I went on to take a few Psychology classes in high school and applied to university as a Psychology major. After starting college and taking some Criminal Justice classes (my eventual minor), I decided I wanted to be a criminal profiler like on Criminal Minds.
Turns out Criminal Minds isn’t real life — who knew, right? — so I kept going with psychology, and whenever anyone asked what my eventual career would be, I would tell them that I would have to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology and then, provided I made it through a doctoral program, I would be a psychologist. However, whenever anyone asked what career I would want if I could do anything, I would always say that I wanted to be a travel writer. That just always seemed like an impractical goal, like saying I wanted to be a rockstar, so it never really occurred to me that I should try to do the thing that I would choose if I could choose to do anything. Besides, I loved learning about Psychology.
As I’ve written before, in my final year of university, I took a full-time, unpaid job working as a research assistant on a clinical research study and started working part-time at a clothing store to try make some money to live on. It was there that I found a place that fostered and encouraged a passion and enthusiasm for fashion. This was also the time when I started to acknowledge my doubts about my chosen career path.
One thing that all of my mentors and peer advisors have told me is that you shouldn’t go for your PhD in Clinical Psychology if you aren’t sure that it’s what you want to do. It’s difficult, time-consuming, and competitive, and if you’re not passionate about what you’re working toward then it’s easy to wash out or be miserable. I didn’t want to be miserable for six more years of education, but I didn’t really think I had a choice.
After graduating university, I started working as a research assistant in another clinical setting, and the more I saw of the lives and careers of my supervisors and mentors, the more worried I became. They all work very hard and love their jobs, but I saw the kind of work they were doing and realized that the path of potentially-miserable schooling that I was on was supposed to lead to a job like theirs, and that wasn’t a job I wanted to do.
That’s about the time I started this blog. I had always talked about wanting to write, and over the last few years my dream of travel writing had turned into a dream of fashion writing, but I knew I wasn’t qualified for any journalism jobs or schools because I had only ever written academically. One day, I was venting my doubts and wishes about my career to a friend, and he suggested that I start a blog. It was something that I had thought of doing before, but I was worried about putting myself out there. Starting a blog meant taking a tangible step toward writing professionally in a way that really scared me because it was proof that I was seriously considering straying from the well-planned path that I had laid out for myself and pursuing something that I had always wanted but considered unattainable.
Obviously, I started a blog. After a few months of writing and more time spent evaluating my options, I decided I wasn’t going to go to graduate school for Psychology and that instead I wanted to try writing professionally. So, I got a job at Banana Republic (#notspon) to try to stay connected to fashion and to line up a career shift for when I leave my current job in psychology.
So. That’s my long-winded, self-indulgent story explaining why I haven’t been able to write very much lately: I’ve been working and commuting about 85 hours per week, and I haven’t had much time left over to transform all of my ideas into well-researched, well-written posts. However, I have a few new posts coming your way anyway, and then when I leave my psychology job in June and I only have one full-time job I’ll be applying to journalism jobs, trying to freelance, and posting here with annoying regularity.
Here’s hoping that it’s never too late to start over. Thanks for understanding, and keep an eye on this space for new posts soon!