Monday, 12 January 2015

Never Say Never

All throughout my secondary education, when the dreaded question of, "so, what are you going to do when you leave school?" popped up I was never 100% confident in my answer. For a while I wanted to be an advertising copywriter, long before Mad Men graced our TV screens. Then I looked into Science careers, and doggedly stuck to wanting to be a Haematologist for a number of years. But the thing I was most confident in, were these two statements:

"I am never going to be a teacher" and "I am never going to leave Ireland"

For those of you who know me, you'll have smiled by now. For those of you who might be new; Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm a Biology teacher living in England.

Life has this funny way of turning everything you think you know about yourself upside down because I was so sure that I would never do either of those things. The second statement even led to my breaking up with a boyfriend (I say 'a' boyfriend like there are multiples. One and only to date. Insert: forever alone meme) who went off to University in Bath, keen to get away from Ireland at the first opportunity.

If nothing else it's taught me something really important and that is, to never say never. If the internet is to be believed (after sorting through a frankly worrying number of references to that Canadian atrocity, Justin Beiber) then Charles Dickens was the first person to actually coin this phrase. And he was right. To completely rule something out of your life, especially when you haven't tried it, closes so many doors. I love teaching, and I love living in England. In fact, after my first week working at my school I cried with happiness on the way home because I finally felt as though something in my life was going right after a rather stressful few years at Uni. Although content, it would have been quite a stretch to say that I was 'happy' while at University. I also have found a lovely set of friends, an old internet friend and some of their extended circle, and have been more social than I can remember in a long time.

But it's important for me to note that I wouldn't go back and change anything. It's taken me a while to abandon those two statements since they were embedded into me so deeply. If I hadn't come around to giving up on them organically I wouldn't be the person I am today.

So my point is that when it comes to reading and writing, never say never.
"I'll never write middle grade" I could write the next big thing in Middle grade and never know it if I didn't give it a shot.
"I'll never read Urban Fantasy" There's so much to learn about writing when you read outside the genres that you're comfortable in.

What about you? Is there something that you said, once upon a time, that you'd never do but have done so since?

Sarah x


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