"There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner." -Diane Setterfield
There is one good thing about being in a place that you do not love. You realize the things that you do love ... the things that still make you happy when you're there. I am finding that for me, those things do not include offices and errands and databases. This is a grand realization for me, because I always thought that I would thrive in such an environment. But I see now that it is holding me back, suppressing the need that I have to communicate and interact, rather than manually go about my day, filing papers, inputting data, and running other people's errands. I need to be creative, which is something I've always been convinced that I am not, the strong realist in me always silencing the dreamer. I've found an unexpected love of photography, pottery, fiction, writing. I need beautiful things in my everyday life ... not bleak walls and computer screens. Maybe I am altogether different than I thought.
All of this has me thinking of graduate school again. But this time not for culinary arts, which I still love, but for English. For writing, more specifically. I just wonder how much of writing is God-given talent, and how much can be learned. Would I emerge on the other side of a grueling thesis no better a writer than I am presently? Is the ability to take someone prisoner with words something that can be acquired? I just know that I cannot stay where I am much longer without at least some progress toward something better. Fear holds me back ... losing the comfort of benefits, 401K's, the life I know on this tight, but sufficient, budget. How do you suddenly pick up and go in a new direction? Possibly, even to a new place? How do people really pay for grad school, have time to do their work, and not die of starvation in the process? The safe choice is to stay where I am, but that would certainly drive me insane, if I am not already there.