Graduating from college was a bittersweet feeling.

I remember feeling very victorious but feeling very scared at the same time. It was in this moment I realized I could no longer be afraid to live and that I was going to have to live in order to accomplish my goals.

Once I graduated, my life took an accelerated turn. I had to become an adult and establish the first footsteps of a career. I thought about returning to graduate school after a year of soul searching but now with only a couple months left in my search, I seemed to have rediscovered some crucial parts of myself that I had lost on my way to adulthood.

Since the age of nine, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write a book, get the book published, and that be my job for the rest of my life. That was my dream job.

I majored in English, wrote for the school newspaper, took creative writing courses, even had an advisor whom herself had written and published a novel of her own. I thought I had made all the right decisions in order to position myself for a successful writing career.

But I soon learned that being a published writer was not going to be an easy feat to accomplish. I learned about how expensive and unforgiving the publishing world can sometimes be. The price to get your work out there is not always a fair one.

I also learned writing was not perceived as a real job. By real, it was seen as a job one can make money by doing. Of course, my answers to those who argued this would always be, “tell that to J.K Rowling,” or “Tell that to Toni Morrison.” I tried with all my might to maintain the same fearlessness about writing I cultivated at the age of nine.

After graduation, a lot has changed. Traveling abroad for the first time to Scotland put so much in perspective about what I wanted my life to be about. I soon realized I wanted to live a fulfilled life which would only be accomplished if and only if I became a writer the way I intended. I realized I had abandoned my childhood dream of writing a book out of the fear that it would not come true.

Through it all, I remembered that writing, especially good writing can’t just be taught. It has to be experienced. Life can sometimes be the best teacher and only teacher for success. Maybe that’s what this extended sabbatical is supposed to be about. I can honestly say that there has not been a day since graduation where I have not learned something. There has not been a day where I have not written something down.

The little writer is still within me. I still believe I have what it takes to see my work on a bookshelf one day. But now that I’ve learned all that I’ve learned, it will be up to me and only me to bring that dream to fruition…and to the page.