There’s that saying about the freshman fifteen, and perhaps due to the fact that I didn’t live on campus my freshman year, I never experienced it. Even when I did move on campus the start of my junior year, I began working out more at the gym and made healthy food choices at the dining halls, so if anything, I lost weight.
The first-year-teacher fifteen, though? Now that’s a real thing.
It’s been a while since I’ve given good time to writing, but it really is my favorite passion. No matter how many leadership roles I’ve had, no matter how many math classes I’ve taken, no matter how many electives I’ve indulged in–nothing brings me back to myself like writing does. I often compare words to blood, the act of writing itself to bleeding–blood-letting, if you will, that cathartic process of expelling the bad humors while holding onto the good.
This week I’m continuing my series of writing exercises and wrapping up the chapter on what makes a story. The exercise is simple: Look back at opportunities not taken. I guess often we look at the choices we’ve made that lead somewhere, but forget the choices that did the opposite–those choices that led nowhere. In stories, however, it’s those choices that make something happen that we follow to the end. If we can identify those choices that cause the story to stop, we can focus on writing about those choices that take us places.