Claire Colby: Should I follow my heart or cool logic?

For as long as I can remember, words have been the love of my life. I was always the child sitting on the edge of the playground, clutching either a novel or a notebook, depending on how the mood struck me. (To this day, I carry a book at almost all times.)

I've loved admiring the way other people filtered their life experiences through words. Seeing the huge amount of invention possible from just 26 little letters inspired me to try creative writing for myself. The feeling of filling a crisp blank page with thoughts and ideas was positively addicting.

Since I could hold a pen and form a sentence, I've planned for myself a career as a writer.

As I sit now on the edge of my adult life, I am forced to make a nearly impossible decision. Do I follow my perhaps unrealistic childhood dream of becoming a writer? Or should I make the responsible decision and pursue a far more stable career as a lawyer?

As I mentioned, writing is my one true passion. It's the thing I find myself doing with every possible free moment, and the thing that makes hours fly by like mere seconds. Though writing is exciting and enticing, it's hardly a particularly stable or lucrative career path. Is it foolish to launch myself on a career trajectory based solely on passion?


My more sensible alternative would be a career in law. Though I'm not all that opposed to the idea, it doesn't carry nearly the same amount of excitement I have for writing. By forgoing passion, I would secure for myself a stable livelihood. Is the trade-off worth it?

At the ripe old ages of 17 and 18, we are all forced to make this difficult decision. Should we pursue logical, but perhaps dull, career paths? Or should we follow our passions, leaving stability and financial security behind?

Is it selfish to devote time and money toward developing a career that may not work out? I feel far too young to make this incredibly loaded decision. Perhaps our answers will become clear, but perhaps we must forge through this arduous task without an obvious correct choice.

Choosing between following your head and your heart is an onerous proposition.

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