I make lists. I run a pencil down the edge of a ruler and divide my cardstock into two columns, one Pro, one Con. I begin jotting, neatly at first, then scribbling as it becomes a stream of consciousness, leaping from one side to the other like a Highland sword dance.
I ask advice. I gather opinions like berries, examining each one for ripeness, letting them dye my fingers and adding my stained fingerprints to the already constructed lists.
I consider myself, my own head and heart. I still have trouble with this one – for a long time, emotions had very little to do with my major choices, unless it was to tip a balanced scale at the last minute. Choosing a high school came down to academic reputation. Picking my college came down to finances. Making a decision based on feelings didn’t seem “smart,” and I was all about making the “smart” choice.
Which is probably why I was so stuck. Why I couldn’t articulate to my friends, my family, even to myself what I wanted. Why my heart still beats a little faster when I say it out loud, much less type it out.
I’ve decided to stay in my college town for the next year after graduation. I can keep my apartment and my job, both of which I love. I can be near the Engineer while he finishes up his last year of undergrad (switching majors sophomore year throws things a little out of whack). And I can work on my own writing so the next time I pitch a manuscript to someone and they want to read it, I’ll actually have something to send them.
And I’m pretty excited about all that.