"Hello Summer!" probably seems like a strange title for a blog post written on a cold, grey, and very rainy day.
It may not be summer yet, in fact it's barely spring here in Toronto, but I have just hit "send" on my final assignment of the year, and am officially on my summer break from school.
I am also officially halfway done my master's degree.
*Cue shocked and confused expression followed by lamentations about being old.*
Luckily, a writer's work is never done and I've got plenty to keep me busy until the next semester starts in August. There's no rest for the wicked as they say!
I feel as though I should have some great insights and reflections on this past year, but when I think about the last eight months since I started school, all I feel is happiness.
Choosing to do a Master's of Fine Art in writing seemed like a big risk at first. It's a pretty serious financial commitment and, like any other fine art program, there's no way of knowing what my career might look like in the future. There's no guarantee of a job with health benefits and a pension, or even any job whatsoever. And after doing my undergrad in the arts, I wondered if maybe it was time to pick a path with a little more security.
But I'm so glad I didn't.
When I was a teenager and was dreaming about my future, I always said that I wanted to look forward to going to work in the morning. Now that I've committed myself to writing as much as possible I can finally say that I've achieved that dream. I'm the happiest I've been in a long time, largely because I get to wake up and do something I love every day. It's a dream come true.
Although writing doesn't pay enough right now for me to support myself, I actually look forward to my part-time "day job" more than ever before. Because I spend the majority of my life writing and blogging, I don't resent the time I spend at my money-making job one bit. I even look forward to the variety and the chance to get out of the house and do something different. It's nice to have a break from the pressures of creativity. The key, like anything in life, is finding the right balance between the two.
Sure there have been sacrifices: mostly in my bank account. School is expensive and I'm no longer working full-time at a job that pays, but I've stuck to my budget, figured out how to balance everything, and I have no regrets. (There's that word again: BALANCE. Seriously, it's my word-of-the-year.)
So all I can say after a year of grad school is this:
If you're weighing the pros and cons between pursuing your passion and keeping a roof over your head, take the plunge and find a way to balance them both. Remember: Just as you can't always get everything from one person, you can't always get everything from one career.