First Post: My Big Fat Mid-Life Crisis

New year + New me = New blog. Okay, so it’s mid-March, so the new year has been going on for a while now, but it took me this long to start the blog. Part of the reason is that we have had a lot of visitors since the beginning of the year, and a part of it is because I have needed some time to accept this new life, new me. So, what do I mean by a new me? Well, I recently left a prestigious PhD program to pursue a career in writing. I know. I know. Cra-zy! Let me be a little more specific. I have been working toward my PhD for years. It has been the plan, to get my PhD and become a college English professor, for about 9 years now. Everything I did, every decision I made, was for that to happen. And, it was working. I got my bachelors and masters in North Carolina, where I used to live with my husband, and then I got into a top PhD program in California, so we moved. But…it wasn’t what I expected. Don’t get me wrong. The program was great. The people were great. I was doing great. But I wasn’t happy. I’m not sure what happened. I knew what to expect. I knew what it was going to be like. But I just…I don’t know. The stress and the time commitment was just too much. It was making me miserable. I wasn’t liking it anymore. And I know that might sound a little bratty, but why would I devote so much time and effort towards something that was making me miserable? I knew, going into the field, that there was little stability and little money for all of the work and stress it took, but I was okay with that because it was what I enjoyed. It made me happy. So to me, happiness trumped everything. So when I stopped being happy, all the other stuff started to matter more. A lot of work and a lot of stress for little stability and little money just didn’t seem worth it. So, after months and months and months of thinking about it and talking it over with my husband, we decided that I would not return to the program in 2015. Instead, I would just look for a job and focus on making myself happier. So what would make me happier? First of all, pursuing a career as a writer. Now, of course I am currently looking for a regular 9-5 job. But, I am also actively pursuing a writing career. More specifically, I want to write YA books. I have always wanted to be a writer, for as long as I can remember. I wrote all the time when I was younger, and I even intended on majoring in creative writing as an undergrad. But then I started doubting my abilities…And I was really good at the regular English classes. So I chickened out, majored in English and minored in creative writing. But my insecurities in writing only got worse in creative writing classes, and I started to excel more and more in the English classes. So I decided that that would be the path. I decided to pursue graduate school in English, and once I graduated undergrad, I stopped writing creatively. And, to be honest, I kind of gave up all of my creative outlets during the years in grad school, including my love of music. Music has also been a huge part of my life, and for the longest time, was a huge part of my identity. But I kind of stopped listening to music, attending concerts, etc, when I started my career in academia. And I’m now realizing just how miserable giving all of that up, my writing and my music, made me. I feel like the last 7 years, I have not been myself. I was some sort of version of myself I was trying to be, and at the end of the day, it took its toll on me mentally and physically. Which brings me to the next thing that would make me happy: losing weight. I have always struggled with weight in my life, and I probably always will. I didn’t grow up understanding how to eat right, and I have a few health conditions that make the situation harder. But since pursuing the career in academia, I have put on a lot of weight, mostly due to stress. In fact, I’ve put on about 130 pounds, when I wasn’t at a healthy weight to begin with. So, let’s just say I am significantly overweight and out of shape. So here I am, 31, fat and unemployed, and starting back at ground zero. And as I am sure you can guess, it’s a little scary. And a little depressing. Which is why it took me so long to start this new blog. But, here I am. I’m done with feeling sorry for myself. I have mourned the life I thought I was going to have, and I’m ready to start the one I want. I want to be a writer. I want to be healthier. I want to be happier. So today is day one towards that. And that’s what I will document on this blog. I will document my progress towards the new me. My search for a job, my pursuit of a writing career, and my journey towards being healthier. And I plan to have some fun posts along the way about what I’m reading, what I’m writing, and what I’m doing. I hope you enjoy my posts and decide to follow my blog. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to leave me your comments! Thanks for listening! Bisous! -Elle-Elle