For the longest time, I was always so sure of myself and what I wanted to do in life. At age seven I declared that I would be a veterinarian. That is, until I realized the whole animal doctor thing applied to more than just cats. My next aspiration was to become a rapper after learning the lyrics to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (my rapper name was Z-Money). I quickly realized that I did not possess the speed nor the vocal cords to emit such a sound though I did begin to write song lines and pick up a few instruments. As you might’ve guessed, my dream to become a musician did not last long. I do still play a mean saxophone however. This pattern went on for many years, spanning from forensic pathologist, FBI agent, president of the United States, and everything in between.
At the end of freshman year of high school, I settled on becoming a physician. I pushed relentlessly to fulfill that goal and graduated at sixteen. My thought was that starting higher education sooner and being in the “real world” would allow me to pursue what I thought was my dream career. Not even a semester into my first year of university, I found I had no desire to learn about science or practice medicine at all. I now had an identity crisis on my hands because I didn’t know what I actually liked or wanted to do. Would I be a mathematician? A social worker? I contemplated dropping out of school to open a flower shop but I’m a serial plant killer. I somehow manage to murder fake plants. It wasn’t until late last summer that I had my big epiphany of what to do with my life: write.
I feel silly knowing it took me this long to find my passion, especially when I’ve done it my entire life. Throughout my adolescence I was extremely timid and wouldn’t dare speak without being spoken to first. From this, writing became an outlet and my muse. Compromises with my mother were made through business letters outlining each party’s terms. Disputes with my brother were (still are) settled with written apologies and signed negotiations. I wrote fairytale-like short stories. My bedroom was covered in black chalkboard paint for me to write on, and where there wasn’t chalkboard, notebook papers were taped to walls instead. Various journals were filled with lists and rantings. I found great joy in writing papers, in addition to proofreading my peers’ work. My favorite thing was to write secret letters, pen and paper only. Despite my many changes in career interests, writing has always been a constant.
I made the switch to the English team this past school year and I could not be happier. While I wish I would have figured myself out sooner, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible. Even more, I love what I study and write more each day. I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the Sundress team and look forward to what the future holds!
Z Eihausen is an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she studies English and Philosophy. Her extracurriculars include dancing (poorly), hanging out with bees, playing saxophone, and attempting to make peace with her beloved cat.
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