When I tell someone what I want to be when I grow up, I usually get a sympathetic stare and then one of those fake sounding “oh, really? That’s great.” kind of replies that I know they don’t mean.
Telling people you plan on writing for TV doesn’t always go over well when everyone around you is a STEM major. People think it’s a pipe-dream and that I’ll end up living on someone’s couch eating all their food. But here’s the thing: I don’t care what they think.
Here’s a little bit of a back story for you:
Since I was 2 years old, I told everyone I was going to be a doctor. Besides a small window of time in high school where I was convinced I’d go into politics, it was always a doctor. More specifically, a neonatologist in Nashville at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I had it nailed down by age, oh I don’t know… 13?
As I got into high school and the whole doctor thing would come up, people would say, “you know it’s not going to be like Grey’s Anatomy, right?” or they’d come up with something along the lines of, “it’s because you watch too many doctor shows on TV.” Well, first of all, I only watch one doctor show, thank you very much, and that wasn’t on air when I was 2 and decided on this doctor business. Also, I AM NOT STUPID STOP TREATING ME LIKE I AM!!!!!
You know that feeling? You just want to yell and scream and tell everyone you know what you’re doing? Yeah, that’s where I was at.
And then I went to college.
I majored in pre-med just like I always knew I would. I even had a pair of scrubs already. (Those now serve as my Halloween costume for the rest of forever.) My first ever semester of college was going to be filled with chemistry and biology and other -ologies that I don’t even know the meaning of at this point. (Is zoology just a class where you take field trips to the zoo? I’m asking for a friend.)
Long story short, I called my mom in tears about a week into school. I was done already. It did not take me long to figure out that this dream of being a doctor that I’d had since I could barely talk was not going to happen.
And that was terrifying.
My whole family was STEM. My mom and my uncle are both science teachers, my grandparents worked for the NSA in Washington D.C. and I was going to be a doctor, right?
There was a period of about two weeks where I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. I knew I had to get a degree, but I had no idea what I wanted to study anymore. I spent 16 years telling everyone I was going to be a doctor. For 16 years, I listened to people tell me how good I’d be at that (these are the ones who didn’t ask me if it was because of Grey’s), and then all of a sudden, that wasn’t going to happen.
But after a drastic switch of majors, I started to find where I belonged. I left the biology building and entered into the world of JMC (journalism and mass communications). It was such a drastic change but I knew within a week that it was the right one. My stress level dropped lower than it had been in years, I was actually enjoying school (mostly), I was getting more involved, and I felt like I was with my tribe.
Two years later, and over half way through this college thing, I still feel that way. I’m busier than I ever have been, but I love what I do. I love the people I get to spend time with, I love the stories I get to tell, and I love that most of my meetings involve food.
Making that jump was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Facing all the people I’d told I was going to be a doctor was something I was dreading. I thought they’d all think I wasn’t good enough, or smart enough, or committed enough.
But I knew that wasn’t true. I could’ve stayed and gone to medical school. I’m sure I would’ve done fine, maybe even great. But I didn’t want to, so I didn’t.
And that is okay!
Changing my mind after 16 years turned into one of the best things I’ve ever done. Because now, instead of spending all of my time studying to become a doctor, I’ve met people who play them on TV, I’ve written over 400 pages of my own scripts from my own ideas, I’ve traveled, I started this blog, I’ve made friends from all over the world… I could keep going.
What I’m saying is this: YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND!
I jumped from doctor to screenwriter, and if I survived that leap, you can survive yours.
And as always, I’m happy to talk to anyone who has questions or concerns about anything and everything. My email is hooked up to the comment section on here, or you can find me on social media!
See you soon!