People say that you never forget your first love, and I agree. You never forget the first time you see their face or the first time you hear their voice. How can you erase memories of the first time you felt those oft-spoken butterflies in your belly, or the way your heart beat whenever they passed by?
Well, my first love wasn’t a human. Actually, it was a hobby (*airhorns* #halaman4ever). Writing was something I felt was a part of me for the longest time. It was kind of an extension of my love for reading books. It’s always been therapy for me, a way to share my story or the stories of those around me. I feel a sense of joy whenever I manage to type out a coherent sentence with a clear message. Hell, when I signed up for Young Star after high school I didn’t know I was getting paid. I literally joined for the Craft™ and because I wanted so badly to be a part of it. I was willing to work for free (please don’t follow my lead, your work is worth something), which is sad I guess, but I would do anything to get to write. It’s the good kind of torture that not a lot of people can understand but the kind that I can find happiness in; I can completely disappear in the process.
Because of this though, I don’t want to pursue a writing career.
To be fair, I never considered myself to be a fantastic writer. Most of the time, I wouldn’t even consider myself to be a good one. I vaguely remember writing my own alamat back in Grade 4. I wrote about how cats got their nine lives and I gave copies written on pad paper to anyone who would humor me. In Grade 6, I wrote really cringey One Direction fanfiction that thankfully never left my notebook. My peak was when I started writing poetry in Grade 8 as an outlet for my angsty, pre-teen self. There, I discovered how to love the words that came flowing out because they were so raw and honest.
Come high school, I started writing for the school magazine. I absolutely lived for it. Running around interviewing people and attending “boring” events was so fun to me. I would handle scripts for projects and spearhead group papers because I enjoyed it. I even rose up the ranks and became Editor-in-Chief.
Everyone was surprised when senior high arrived and I chose STEM to be my track.
There was hardly a single person that I knew who wasn’t shookt that I chose that track over HUMSS, which was the most logical path for me. I was a writer. I had basically built my entire identity on the fact that I looooved to write. Not to mention, Math was my worst subject academically, which was proven again when I fumbled through Calculus in my senior year. So why am I pursuing something I’m weak in?
I’m terrified of the day that my love will turn to hate. To me, jobs are predisposed to be awful. I know that’s not true for everyone, but I know myself well enough to say that I can’t handle doing something for so long without despising it. Also, I am absolutely afraid of failing, even if I find myself doing it a lot. Being known as a writer professionally and not living up to the standards of other people is scary, especially by those in the journalism community. If you tell me that I am terrible in something that I have been doing for years, I would just crumble. In the long run, I don’t think doing nothing but writing will be healthy for me.
So, I chose things that I knew I struggle in now, because at least the only way is up (hopefully). I’m gonna get 70% of everything wrong, but maybe that’ll make getting that 30% right even more satisfying. Science is something I knew I liked from the very beginning because of all the new things you can discover, but I just found it difficult because of all the technicalities. There’s always something to be explored, and I am comforted by the fact that there is something bigger and brighter out there for me to learn from. In a way, it’s my dream. I want to be able to understand and solve problems that no one has ever solved before.
At 18, I’m still young, so who knows what I’ll think in the future. Maybe I could finally get over my own insecurities or find something else that’ll push me into a career in journalism. I could even combine my passion and my dream so I can work for a science magazine.
I will always have a passion for writing though, this piece is proof enough of that. Even when I grow old, I’ll be writing about tips for living retirement to the fullest or skincare for the elderly. For now, I’m still going to have to face Science in its purest form: college.