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Bruin abroad: ‘it’s what i’ve always wanted to do’

I was chatting with my friend the other day (shout out to Laurs, the coolest geological engineer major around), and she was telling me how excited she was to begin her career. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do!” she claimed.

That caused me to stop and ask myself… What is it that I’ve always wanted to do? With this self-reflection came along the reminder that I’ve always loved to write. There’s something so incredibly fulfilling about finding just the right string of words to properly express an idea, feeling, or occurrence.


Newest notebook to add to my already-too-many notebook collection

As a child, before I could even write, I would illustrate stories and dictate to my parents or older brother what to write alongside the drawings. Once I could write – and later when I could type – I created detailed narratives for my stuffed animals. I remember one particular incident during my early elementary school years when the class was asked to write a story. We were given a paper with ten or so lines to complete this assignment on. I somehow ended up filling our allotted lines and then both the front and back of a piece of notebook paper. I don’t remember really what the story was about, although I do believe a wolf was involved. It was a page turner, undoubtedly.

My young imagination drove me to write quite a bit back then, but as I grew older, I began to push writing aside, at least in the creative sense. I had “more important things” to focus on, like what major could land me a job after graduation, and now that my December graduation is fast approaching, what I plan to do with my life.

Yet beneath all this, my desire to write has remained persistent, especially emerging whenever I read work from some of my favorite authors, like C.S. Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I mean, c’mon, how can you read a line like this one and not fall to pieces from the beauty of it?!“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty of the world.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Breathtaking! Glorious! One of my favorite lines from that book, in fact. I can only dream of one day writing even half as well as those two.


The pub frequented by C.S Lewis, pal J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other members of the writing group “The Inklings” during their studies at Oxford

More importantly, being in London has reawakened this writing urge. I’m taking a poetry writing class, and though I don’t really write poetry – I much prefer reading it – it is challenging me to once again open my eyes to the details about me and express my thoughts creatively. The city of London itself provides droves of inspiration, and rightly so, since it is overflowing with so many fresh scenes and experiences.

I took a tour of the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studios yesterday, and it was absolutely fascinating. The amount of detail that went into creating these films was mind-boggling. Could these people – from the actors, directors, screenwriters, set designers, concept artists, special effects engineers to countless more (all artists in their own way) – tell me that this is what they’ve always wanted to do? I’m almost certain that the answer would be a resounding “yes.”


Model of Hogwarts used for aerial shots of the castle in the films


Inspiration from a wonderful storyteller


A piece of conceptual art (one of my favorite parts of the tour)

And so, I wonder, as I take this next step in my life, determining its direction and beginning a career, will I be able to say that this is “what I’ve always wanted to do?” Will you?

I find it only proper to end my post with this poem from William Wordsworth, because 1) it’s one of my favorites and 2) I took a walk across Westminster Bridge the other day.


Composed Upon Westminster Bridge “Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did the sun more beautifully steep In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill; Ne’er saw I, never felt a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! The very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still!”


Views from Westminster Bridge


Views from Westminster Bridge

 Follow Ally’s adventures in London on her blog

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