Throughout my years of school, I always had one goal in the back of my mind. I wanted to finish and publish the book I have been working on and become a world-renowned author. My goal remains the same today.
Growing up, I did not spend my free time like most kids my age. My classmates would be out in the playground. They would swing from monkey bars, shoot hoops on the basketball court and play some game called four square. I would be inside, holding a pen in my hand instead of a ball, writing away and creating worlds.
Even when class began, I would be in the back of the class writing my own Star Wars fictional story. That is how it started. I would write based on universes I was interested in. I would create characters and bring them into worlds like those in Star Wars, Pokemon and Lord of the Rings.
Eventually, I realized I wanted to do more than just write about these universes. I wanted to create my own world, with its own characters and things which make it unique from this world. I have always written in fiction because it is an escape.
I like to write in unfamiliar territory to differentiate from the real world. When times got tough I would continue creating my world inside my 30-page exercise book.
As I grew older I continued to write, drawing inspiration from lessons in life, books and films. I never thought about pursuing a career in writing since I did not think it was an option. I always thought writing was going to be something I would do on the side.
I struck an issue when I reached university. I realized I had no idea what I wanted to pursue as a career.
Difficulty finding a career path
I enrolled at Memorial University of Newfoundland right after high school, in September 2018. I was confident writing was only a hobby and even if someday I did want to publish a book, I never thought education would help.
In my first semester, I enjoyed my earth science classes so I considered it as a career. In the second semester, I considered English. I figured English would help me become a better writer. That would make it the correct career path right?
I was wrong. I struggled with English. All my poetry and essay writings were on topics I did not care about. I thought it meant I was not meant to be a writer. I continued writing as a hobby but I felt discouraged by this epiphany.
By the end of 2019, I was confident I was going to major in psychology and become a guidance counsellor for a high school. In high school, I co-led a club called Peace & Justice which revolved around charity work including donating proceeds from bake sales and trash removal. I enjoyed helping people in that way and I always liked to help my friends with their problems. I thought becoming a guidance counsellor would be quite fitting.
COVID-19 helped me down my right path
In March 2020, the whole world changed. COVID-19 had finally come to Newfoundland and Labrador. Many countries now had COVID-19 spreading at a swift pace. We then had to endure the struggles of lockdowns and bubbles for a long few months.
My plans for my birthday were crushed by COVID-19 since we remained in lockdown on March 31. However, it brought me to the biggest epiphany of my life.
On my birthday I turned 20 and was devastated. I was unable to have any kind of party and I felt confused. I still did not know if guidance counselling was the path for me. Then I thought about when I was young, and what I imagined myself doing when I was 20.
I imagined myself living abroad somewhere, writing my book at my desk and going to school to become a better writer. I realized I was not fulfilling the wish I had for my younger self. I realized I did not want to be here anymore, going to school in Newfoundland.
I had to get out.
As time went on it was clear the pandemic would not end in a year. Being in the Atlantic bubble, I only looked at other Atlantic provinces for education. I discovered Dalhousie University and its creative writing program which was exactly what I was looking for. In the fall of 2021 when in-person classes returned, I moved to Halifax and followed my passion.
It was the best decision I made. Since moving here I learned more about writing a story in one semester than in my entire two years at MUN. I always wanted to be a writer as a kid. I did not know creative writing was a degree and it can be used not just for story writing but also for journalism.
It is ironic how I found the right path at a time when we were unable to leave the house.