Sitting at the dinner table one evening back in my youth, I looked across at my mother and casually explained “I want to be an actress.” With a quick moment of silence, but really no hesitation, my mother looked me square in the eye and said: “But Shelby, you can’t act?” And that, was that. My hopes and dreams of my name in lights somewhere in Hollywood evaporated just as quickly as they had come. I was angry at that point, and to this day still a little bitter. But my mother was right. I cannot act. I was born to do something else: write.

My goals have changed much over the years, starting with entering my university, University of San Francisco, in the lovely and drought-ridden Golden State, with the high hopes of becoming a teacher–a very respectable and noble job as I would be working in an inner-city school system.

Three long years later, those dreams changed drastically, and I realized that I wanted to be a teacher for all of the wrong reasons: some financial stability, time off, ability to be a writer and work, etc. I needed a change of scenery and pace. So I flew to London, England to study abroad and rediscover my passion for literature and creative writing.

The goals presently [and I use the term “goals” instead of “dreams” because dreams connotes that they are far-fetched and ultimately unattainable, whereas goals can be a to-do list for that day, or something bigger] are to drop this fake teaching gig and shoot big for what I really want out of life: to keep learning.

I will attend graduate school and hopefully obtain my doctorate, preferably in both Renaissance Literature and Creative Writing. I want to teach university now, in either of those subjects I will have mastered, and go on to publish articles and novels alike.

Very soon, I will be ending my undergraduate career and forced into the “real world” where parents and peers alike disapprove of my goals. But to them, I say adieu and they can find me in England.

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