Wednesday, February 7, 2007


"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.


G. Twilley said...

We're going through some of the same [latter] process that you're thinking through, A.

It is certainly easier to think of the process being least for me - I know that there's always the potential and probability that one of us [or both] can work full time. I know that I shouldn't see that as my main source of comfort, but I often do.

re: the first part of your blog. I was at a meeting last night called "New Focus." It is a class on Wed's @ Briarwood taught by Chris Thompson [who is the "Mercy Pastor"]. Chris told the class, "Sometimes God will choose to leave you at the bottom of the pit just to show you that what you think you need is really what you only wanted."

Essentially. [Yes. I did mean to end with that].

Ginny said...

To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture of restlessness and vague desire-It is a boat longing for a sea and yet afraid.

Renee said...

Look for a school where you can study writing and editing in Seattle. Seattle August/September 2009 here we come!

jeff said...

Amanda, the more I read your writing the more I see that you are a thoughtful and intelligible pen-woman.

On a side note, I think that we all need beauty in our life. It makes life meaningful, and at the same time points us all to the same mastermind behind it all.

susan said...

I was going to do this
but I married a boy instead. If you did it, it would make me happy. I'm SO GLAD I married the boy, though.

Julie-Anne said...

I find that a lot of people are doing the grad school thing...or attempting the process. I say go for it. :)