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  1. Sometimes, I’m amazed by how much we have in common. I knew I loved writing when I was 10. Writing, though, was always very personal for me. I had a hard time believing anyone made money doing it. So, I always had safer plan Bs. I remember, when I was in high school, trying to figure out my life. For some reason, I thought I needed to know where I was going and why and how. I had too many interests, but I knew writing had to be part of it–somehow. So, I decided to study to be a zoologist and a freelance journalist for National Geographic (on the side, because–you know–I’d have so much free time). I majored in Biology and Communication, had a minor in Environmental Studies that I dropped soon after declaring it.

    I remember explaining who I wanted to be to everyone. Everyone would look at me quizzically–wondering how exactly biology fit with writing. For me, it always did. Writing fit with everything. It was the only thing that did. Eventually, I’d switch the biology major to ES and then back again when the department chair’s Alzheimers almost prevented me from graduating on time.

    My senior year, I fell apart…determined that I was never gonna be what I’d tried so hard to be. I spent a long while trying to figure my shit out…tried to make that writer part of me work in the real world…tried to make it safe enough to pursue.

    And then, one day, I discovered that I wanted to teach–something I was always told I should do–and hence, something I never wanted to do. But the minute I found it, it felt like me. I’ve been fighting for a while to be a teacher–though most of my struggles came from me and getting out of my own way. I seemed to find a million obstacles. I’m still fighting, to some extent, but most of the obstacles are out of my way.

    In any case, I’m learning that I’ll always have writing. It’s part of who I am. If I just calm down, usually things work out.

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