First of all, buy a new computer, since I wrecked this one by accident. Sure, it still WORKS, but the screen resolution is shot, it probably can't be fixed without taking the whole thing apart and costing a fuckton of money, and I have to use it on a perfectly flat surface or the screen can't really... adjust. The second thing I'd do is write a book.
Oh, wow, that's it, that's your life's purpose? No, probably not. Just that, if I wasn't worried about money for living- rent and other bills, and light expenses for fun- as well as all the money I just spent getting my B.Sc, I'd write a book. I mean, even with that as an object- the book can be about genetics. I don't really care what it's about. But if I could spend my days neck deep in a manuscript- up to my ears in either research or character and plot design- I think I'd enjoy that. It would fulfill my creative outlet. It would technically be following the advice of "think about what you enjoyed doing as a child, and do that now."
To be more specific, I'd go back to school first. I'd get my B.Fa or something, or at least take some fucking classes. Let's be real, I'm not a bad writer, but I did just spend the last four years being trained in a very particular type of writing that's not very fun to read. To be fair though... the best way I found to write it, and my presentations, was by thinking of them as a story. They need to flow. The thing you say next needs to build on the things you just said, needs to make them intertwine together. Those things you just said need to add up and you need to explain the math. That's all a presentation is, that's all a fucking scientific article is. We know x fact from these studies and Y fact from those studies so we decided to look at Z. We tested it this way, this is why. This is what we would have done if money/time/physical possibility weren't in the way. This is what we found. Here are the numbers. We quantified it. The end. Of course in order to get there you need an awful lot of background knowledge and even more patience, but it's really pretty simple.
When I was little I said I wanted to be an artist. Then I wanted to be a writer. Then I didn't know. I thought for the past few years that I wanted to be a scientist and I still think that would be nice. The thing is now I've given five or so different people a different answer about what it is I am doing because people don't really like you very much if you tell them you're just figuring things out. I know it's a luxury to be able to do that, but god, does it really make me that horrible of a person? I just got an undergraduate degree, can I chill for a second?
The problem with me is that when people ask what I want to do I don't have an answer. I don't have a dream. I don't even have a goal, which is I think what most people pursue because we don't all have a dream that has concrete steps. I mean, when I think of my friends in nursing- is that really their dream? Or is it just a goal? I feel like it's the latter- but at least there are concrete steps they can take to get there. If you don't have a goal you just sort of... drift.
And of course there are people who are invested in my decision. I wish I was completely independent. I wish I had that freedom. But as it is I feel there are people who deserve a little input if I'm going to keep asking for their help like this. People who will not pay to send me back for another undergrad because... god, what a waste of money if that doesn't work out. I'm an investment and I want to be a good one.
I know, I know... it's possible to write a book while doing other things with your life. I could get a job- any job, really- or even go to graduate school like I've been telling everyone I want to, and write a book in my downtime. I'm not in any rush, I don't even know what I'd like to write about, so I'd obviously have to start with just learning to write again. The club I made at school would probably still let me come to meetings, and they're going to have a much easier time arranging those with fewer politics and general starting-out struggles in the way. I could benefit from my own legacy. I could take other classes not from that school, classes that might be a hell of a lot cheaper; I could read books about writing and publishing, I could just read books in general to figure out what kind of one I might like to write.
What my parents always told me-- their poor silly daughter who thought that writing books could earn a living!-- was that I could do something else (something that makes some money so she can live, oh please) and write in the meantime. As awful and practical as that advice was, I think they were probably onto something.
So like-- there. A project for this year, whatever the fuck I choose to do with it. Write again. Learn to write again. Write about whatever the fuck you want, wherever you want, however you want. Find a community in it. And hopefully figure out something I could write a book about.
Putting it out there would be scary, but I think I kind of have to do it. Maybe I won't be done until I'm like, 35, but I guess there's no point in rushing it. Being published would taste just as good at 23 as at 35 as at 68.
Some part of me thinks I'll feel differently in the morning. We'll see. I feel, though, that this doesn't have to be the right answer- or the only answer. There's a lot of room in my life for things to want to do.