I’ve always enjoyed rainy, gloomy days. They don’t fill me with joy the way that sunny days do, but there’s something special and unique about the way clouds make me feel.
A sense of melancholy-ness is how I’d describe it.
It’s typical on days like today to see people sulking about. Moods change with the weather—it’s not a new phenomenon. If the sun is out, people are happier, more excited about life. When the skies are gloomy, people are too. It’s like we all turn into a bunch of zombies, especially here on campus.
Imagine a bunch of bodies, roaming to class with blank faces, barely speaking, moving slowly, and using the occasion grunt in place of a word or facial expression. (Okay, fine, yes, I’m exaggerating again. But not by a lot.) On sad days, most talk about how much they must do, how tired and unmotivated they are. The most recent development and my person favorite is: “I just feel weird today.” (It appears you feel weird every day, Kind Stranger. Maybe, at this point, you’re just weird.)
Yes, this feeling can get to me too, but this bizarre sense of melancholy-ness isn’t necessarily unenjoyable. It’s not discomfort or sadness, but contentedness and a willingness to wait for better days. A knowledge that today is gloomy, but I don’t have to be gloomy with it.
Today, in fact, I sort of felt the opposite.
It’s almost definitely because (I think) I’ve decided what I plan to major in (although I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment).
My whole life I’ve had certain passions, but pursuing them seemed like this big, impossible feat. Dreams are dreams for a reason, right? They’re too big to become reality. Especially when everyone in that reality is telling you to think realistically. Our society views school as a tool, a factory type machine that spits our career-ready individuals like products off an assembly line. But I’ve never just wanted to be another worker.
I just want to write. I’ll write whatever: songs, novels, articles. Give me a pen and a voice and I’ll be happy.
Therefore, the obvious answer to my incredible indecisiveness is Creative Writing.
I know, I know. English majors don’t get jobs. English majors live in boxes in Some Large City with nothing to show for their hard work except half written screenplays that were never used for anything other than cheaply made student films. Especially the ones who graduate from liberal arts colleges. Yuck. They’re most definitely screwed.
However, studies lately have been showing the contrary. English majors are doing quite well in the real world. Employers are currently busy looking for people who can communicate clearly, creatively and effectively. A good communicator means just as much as (if not more than) someone who excels solely in their major but can’t translate their brilliant thoughts.
So I will write.
I’ve decided that I can’t stomach the idea of following a career path with the plan of following my dreams later in life, once things have settled down, once I have a stable job, once I’ve started a family because at that point, it’s likely that the dream chasing will never begin. I don’t want to wake up one day when I’m 55 and realize I missed out on a lifetime of opportunities. I can no longer be complacent. I must start now.
I had a meeting with an advisor today—a woman that I’d never met before. I casually mentioned that I was considering a major in Creative Writing. While shuffling through the paperwork on her desk, she’d still yet to make eye contact with me.
“What would you do with your Creative Writing major?” she questioned.
I tried to swallow my panic. I hadn’t expected someone to disapprove of my new idea so quickly, so soon.
I cleared my throat. “Well… I’d like to be a writer—ideally a novelist. I think I’m going to minor in Public Relations and French, though, that way I can maybe write for advertising companies or work on social media platforms in the meantime.”
For a long time, she said nothing. She just continued sifting through her papers.
Eventually, she said: “A novelist, huh?”
“Well, yes,” I choked, “I’ve actually already written a novel. It’s not finished yet—”
This made her laugh. “You realize that most authors have a hardcover book in their hands and still feel like their books aren’t finished, don’t you?”
I laughed with her. “Well, yes, of course. I just want to make it a bit more solid before I send out any query letters…” I felt myself trail off.
Still staring at her paperwork, a smile slid onto her face. “So what brought you to the conclusion that you don’t want to be a teacher?”
“Well, it’s something that I’ve thought of since I was a little girl. And I think I’ve always wanted to do it. There are just other things that I want to do more.”
Finally, she looked up at me, her eyes glistening. “Follow your passion.”
A shiver ran through my body. I grinned. “I plan to. Thank you… Thank you so much.”
We said our goodbyes, and as I stood to leave, a smirk spread across her face as she pulled her glasses down the bridge of her nose. “I except to see your novel on shelves soon.”
My heart soared.
This woman, whom I barely knew, inspired me beyond belief by avoiding eye contact until it would be impactful and by asking me a few questions. Simple, yet effective. And when I left, there was a swing in my step and an excitement for the future.
I was surrounded by people afflicted by the Grey Sky Gloom, but I couldn’t have felt any better