Take a Breath, Close your Eyes…and Jump

December 1, 2012 — 20 Comments

Apologies for not having posted in a while I’ve been ….soul searching? Just to be lame about it let’s go with that.

Travelling to America this summer was one of the best things I ever did. It gave me the chance to just park life where it was for a while and quite literally cartwheel down the beach with the people who I love and don’t get to see enough of.

Burying my head in the sand has always been a talent of mine but somewhere at the back of my head there was a niggling feeling that something wasn’t right. It took a few cans of 4 loco ( horrible and poisonous yet also cheap and effective ) to allow me to admit that I really wasn’t happy in my degree. That was probably the first shaky step towards changing things.


It’s easy to spout quotes about living each day to the fullest, reality is a bit different.

Money is at the root of every decision and while I don’t necessarily think wealth equals happiness my god it would certainly make it easier to chase your dreams.  So I did the sensible thing, went back to college and having discovered that the thing I really love to do is write was miserable and totally hating it. Something had to give.

I’ve always been the good one. I studied and got good grades. Never did anything that any other teenager isn’t guilty of. So to turn around and inform my family that ah actually that Chemistry degree won’t be happening was terrifying. The only thing that was scarier was the thought that I would turn around one day when I was older and realise I was too scared to just screw everyone else and fight for what makes me happy. At least I’ll know I gave it a shot.

“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts

For the first time in my life I don’t have a plan. I know I want to go back to college next year and start an English degree..after that who knows.  I do know that in the past two years I have spent far too much time worrying and stressing and life’s too short for that shite. Maybe I’ll teach, work in publishing or keep writing. Right now I’m going to give the English degree my all and let the rest fall into place later.

Even the best laid plans have a habit of unravelling anyway, the sky won’t fall in.

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When I was little and in a water park with my family I was always the one at the top of a huge slide watching my brother hurtle down and frantically looking for other options ANY other options to reach the ground safely ie the wimp. So I’m going to do now what I had to do then and just close my eyes and jump…and hope to god I land on my feet

20 responses to Take a Breath, Close your Eyes…and Jump


    Hopefully making the decision was the hardest part. There are so many cliches out there – like the one about it’s the journey that counts not the destination – but that’s because it’s not only the truth but also because facing up to the reality is a big issue for most of us. At least you’ve realised you weren’t happy. Enjoy the freedom and good luck in your search. Be brave and go with it.


    Hi, just wanted to say I made the same decision at university. I was on a course I hated, it was far too business-like for me, and I switched to an academic one much more interesting. My tutors from my old course told me I was making a mistake to be leaving and that I was risking my chances of success. But what’s the point in success if you don’t enjoy it? I graduated with a degree in a subject I absolutely loved studying, and met my best friends and boyfriend too while doing so!

    In such an unstable economy where graduates are struggling anyway, why study something you don’t like? If you’re not entering a secure jobs market anyway then your studies may as well be something you love. I did this and although my degree might not have led to a direct career, this suited me as I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to be at the time and I plan to do something more specific for my postgraduate degree.

    You have the right things in mind – do some travelling, enjoy times with your friends and don’t stress out over life. There’ll be times later in life when you wonder if you should have stuck to your original degree, but I believe these choices are always made for the right reasons. Enjoy!


    Follow your passion first, then money. You are making an amazing choice, even though it’s scary. I did the same thing in college and even though I’m going back for a career focused degree now, I wouldn’t change it for the world. 🙂


    All the money in the world isn’t enough if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. You know that though, my repeating it is only my way of trying to assure you that this is the way to having fewer regrets. If you ever need help keeping that knowledge in your brain though, just bounce this idea around in your dome: Life is too short to not enjoy living.


    Good for you for making such a big decision! Too many people just do things because other people want them to do them.

    And thanks for stopping by my art blog. I do have another one that I consider my “real” blog (the place where I ramble on…) Stop by anytime!



    “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I found myself being happier working for a bit less money in exchange of keeping more of my marbles.


    A variation of Katie Renee’s advice is “follow your passion and find a way to get paid for it.” If writing floats your boat most, look for those opportunities. Money should not be the key driver in what you decide to do. Rigo1819 is dead on accurate in his advice. Try stuff on for size and see if it fits. If not, move on but do give it your best effort and some time to see if it is something you like and are good at. As an Old Fart, one of my favorite things to do is hear how people got to where they are. Many are not doing anything close to what they studied in college, so the journey may take you down different paths. Have fun and thank anyone profusely who gives you a helping hand. All the best, BTG


    Congratulations on finding your own personal Season of Change! Doing what you love should always come first before doing what pays most, otherwise you will never be happy with the dividends. As they say, money cannot buy happiness (though it sure can let you pick your misery).

    Best of luck with the English degree and I hope to continue to see you writing, whether here or in print!


    I didn’t go to uni however I still managed to become a moderately successful white collar worker. Material success is one part talent, the rest is luck and politics. Relationship success? That I haven’t quite figured out – hence my blog. Anyway, good luck out there, you’ll be fine


    I forgot how hard decisions are at university age, one decision can feel like you will impact the rest of your life – and it may. It does get easier. On my first ‘proper’ job my employer told me that yes, great I had a degree, but they loved the fact I produced amateur theatre in my spare time, it showed to them I was able to project manage and I had a hobby – they wanted a person who was well rounded in life. Your degree is hugely important, but it doesn’t define you. Only you can define you. I have so many friends who are high-flyers, good career, good money, lots of hours, but they’re not happy. I’m like you, I’d rather be happy!


    Good for you! You know I actually am going through something similar to you. I had moved out a year ago and for years after while in college I worked full-time and it got to a point where I just ended up not finishing my degree and decided to just work full-time. I hate not having a degree so I recently decided to go back and finish my degree in English so I can teach in a middle school.

    I hope everything works out for you. It’s tough trying to figure out what you wanna do with your life when you have real problems. I was worried about money too and I was just so unhappy with life. I am so much happier now though. Good luck to everything you pursue!


    You *do* have a plan. Going back to school and allowing your life to unfold before you. It’s a good plan, and I wish you good luck and happiness, Lily.


    I understand your angst–I’ve been there myself. Good luck with whatever path you find.


    Good for you, Lily, and for everyone who wrote about taking the chances. I’ve been around longer than anybody posting from the looks of the photos (all beautiful!) and I’ll just say that I decided a long time ago to have memories rather than regrets. You can’t ignore money completely, of course, but you can make choices that give you other rewards as well, like following your heart.

    Plans? You know the old saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.”

    Be open to the universe and enjoy it all.


    Congratulations on making the decision. I managed to survive with degrees in English and without teaching, and so did my wife. Lots of people will tell you there’s no future with a degree in English, but when you look at all the writing that takes place every day you can see it’s a busy field. Maybe you’ll be a poet, maybe a copywriter, maybe you’ll write technical manuals, maybe you’ll write books (How-To books are often big sellers). When you can write, you can do any of these. If you want to make money, you can ghostwrite books for people on the lecture circuit. When you give a lecture, you make money off the lecture, but you can make extra money off the books and CDs people buy from you. Obviously, you don’t have time to write your own book, so you get someone to do it for you. That’s where the writer comes in–so good luck with your English degree, and remember that you’re learning to master storytelling, the powerful kind of communication.


    Hi Lilypetal, Just found your blog though your like. Well done on making the decision, what you’ve done in the past takes you where you’re going so just keep going forward and I hope the switch is exactly what you’ve been hoping for.

    Great blog, I knew as soon as I read the first post you were Irish!


    So, I read this and thought, “Thank God I am not alone.” I was initially in a more practical degree plan because I knew (and people to this day tell me so) that I may not make a lot of money following my dream of writing. All I have to say is I have not regretted it for a second. I am a creative writing major and I still believe it was the best choice. So, good luck and best wishes. AND thanks for liking my post and following my blog!


    Thanks for visiting my blog; I don’t know if you saw the ‘stepping off’ post but there’s a nice quote from a poem there about daring just to step off into that void, trusting something will come to you. Of course you do have to work hard in life and it’s not all fun stuff, and some things you just have to stick at and see through. But I really believe it’s vital that your heart’s in what you do, and it’s right to have the courage to change if not. Good luck!


    wow, you’re an extremely good writer. Captivating and not tedious. God Bless

    – Inked Pen

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