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About a year ago, I wrote this, which was basically me being all ready to change my life and then actually not doing anything to change it. This precipitated a lot of the crap that happened last fall and the dark night month of the soul that made me realize half-assing my dreams ain’t gonna cut it. I’m either all in, or I’m not.

I love writing. I love music. I love creating. Those are constants in my life. And my current career, working in an elementary school, didn’t line up with any of those things. I knew back in November that I needed to quit my current job, but I had no plan of what to do beyond that. While pantsing it is all well and good in writing, where you can go back and revise your mistakes, you don’t get to edit life.

So what do you do?

You make a plan.

I started my planning with what I knew. I wanted to quit my job and do art. Thanks to going on medical leave and doing outpatient therapy for two months, I had time to flesh out my nebulous dream into something more solid. Doing art became having motivation/time to write and pursuing music like I had wanted to do (but never did because of fear of financial issues) by returning back to college. Once I decided on that, the next steps became clearer, even if they weren’t easy ones to make.

In January, I returned to work in order to keep insurance benefits and save up for school. With continued therapy and medication, I managed at work and applied to colleges. I got into the vocal performance program I wanted in February. I gave notice that I wouldn’t be back at my work the next year in March. In April and May, I started writing again, slow spurts, but there words singing on the page once more. Two weeks ago, I worked my last day at my (now old) job. Last week, I found a new apartment that I adore and that is closer to school. Two days ago, I signed up for classes. Today, I’m applying on part-time jobs to finance my living costs while I’m in school.

Back in November, where I am now seemed like an impossibility. It was a life I’d told myself I couldn’t have because I couldn’t take the risk. Turned out it wasn’t a “couldn’t” so much as a “wouldn’t.”

To be honest, I’m still fucking terrified at this dream life leaving my head and hurtling into reality. But I’m also more excited than I’ve been in years. I feel alive. Awake.

Who knew living could be better than dreaming?