Although I’m fairly introverted, I’ve been told that at times I can be stubborn… I’ll thank my mother for that. I’m not stubborn about most things, but when I latch onto something, I’m like a barnacle on a beach: immobile, annoying as hell, and salty.
Much like all of my other personality traits, I have conflicting opinions on stubbornness. On the one hand, it can land you into trouble, possibly even causing closed-mindedness. On the other hand, though, it can make you unstoppable.
I’ve known I’ve wanted to become a career writer since I first learned how to, and even arguably before that (depending on how superstitious you are). Since my mother’s Korean, I had a 100-day party (as opposed to a birthday party), where I had three items placed in front of me to pick from: a pen, a ruler, and a dollar bill. The tradition goes that whatever the baby picks up will predict what kind of life he/she will lead. I, of course, picked up the pen immediately (my brother picked up the dollar bill at his party and is about to head off to business school, so I think you can understand why I’m a little superstitious myself).
If you’re not superstitious, though, you could also say it started with a group of friends and I passing around a notebook, writing a new chapter every week on a fantasy tale of kings and queens and dragons — this was in the first grade. When my parents asked me when I was little what I wanted to be when I grew up, they probably hoped it would be something in the science field; after all, I loved the idea of building robots and studying wildlife… but it was only for the sake of writing stories about them.
I once fooled myself into thinking that I could actually build robots, so I bought a book called The Robot Builder’s Bonanza. It’s still sitting in my house somewhere, collecting dust and bent only once on the spine at a page filled with complex mathematics and diagrams picturing hundreds of wires and where to connect them. No thanks.
Back to this idea of being unstoppable: sometimes I feel I’m allowed to be proud of my stubbornness. Despite all of the well-meant warnings friends and family have given, despite the online forums urging me to turn back now, despite the statistics that say I have almost no chance at making my dream come true of becoming a successful writer, I’ll still try. I’ve certainly started to see the cost of my stubbornness: with my current job coming to an end tomorrow, I’ve been signing up for one-day jobs (fairly far from having a steady income) and banking on one job interview I have next week going well. I’m still a student, and I’ll admit to receiving a ton of help from my parents, but I can’t depend on that safety net for much longer. Sometimes, the only thing keeping me going is the simple fact that it wouldn’t make sense for me to go to business or law school and rack up more debt, and that’s besides the fact that I’d be terrible in either field.
So yeah, I guess I’m unstoppable, but not in a Superman kind of way: I’m more like a derailed Little Engine That Could that’s just kinda chugging along through field and forest, hoping to someday make it to those smooth-sailing tracks.