The Creative, Nerdy Type

The Nerdy Type:
I’ve accepted the fact that I was left-brained. There’s no denying it. However, 95% of my life I believed that left-brained solely meant that I was only allowed to be good at math and science. I spent all of my primary and secondary education in advance math and science classes because, quite frankly, that’s all I allowed myself to believe that I was good at.
I highly believe I was had higher pressure to nurture that analytical side of my brain given the fact that the female proportion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students is a lot lower than that of males. My parents and teachers did everything they could to ensure I stuck with it. And that is how I ended up at an all engineering school, thinking it was what I wanted and where I needed to be.

My “Royal Failure:”
Unfortunately for me, I thought I needed to follow a path that was concrete, secure, and fiscally responsible. In my head (at the ripe age of 18 when I obviously know everything), event coordination was irresponsible and foolish. This was why I committed to Colorado School of Mines where I would major in Petroleum Engineering. Even to this day, I have no clue why I chose Petroleum. I had a scholarship and it was one of the few majors that I thought I understood.
I failed my first calc 3 test and dropped the class. I still think my chemistry professor pitied me and lied about me “passing” the final. On New Year’s Eve I had a complete mental breakdown and told my dad I was dropping out of Mines. Mind you, classes started again in a week and a half. I felt like I’d wasted my time that I’d let down my father who had dreamed of his daughter following his footsteps into engineering.

Long Road to Realization:
When I enrolled at CU Boulder I was adamant that I would still find a “responsible major” which is why I ultimately went into Accounting and Finance. I had every intention working with a Big 4 accounting firm and following through on the expectations that other people had for me. During the summer I would spend all my free time deciding how to re-design my bedroom at school. Around the holidays, I was the first to be asked to decorate for family dinners and parties. But that was all the time I was investing into design.
Last November I got one of the few emails my brother was able to send while on his mission trip. He told me it wasn’t worth my time and energy to go into a field that I had no desire for. He said I was be an idiot to ignore my eye for design and love for event coordination for the rest of my life. After I got over the fact that my younger brother was now far wiser than me, I stayed up till 3am looking into how I could make my dream a reality.
Side note: if you have a chance, check out Tara Guérard’s blog. She’s created an small empire and she has been an absolute idol of mine since day one.

All Aloney on My Owny:
I still love calculus and physics. To quote Mean Girls (xoxo I love this movie), math is beautiful “because it’s the same in every country.” But, while I still love it, I can recognize it needs to play a different role in my life. I’ve used that knowledge to help brain-hemispheres-sketch-left-analytical-right-creative-concept-vector-illustration-44536474design some of the coolest floral installations for weddings. And my left-brained personality is still hard at work finding inefficiencies in the planning and execution process, but we’re trying to find some more wiggle room for my new found right-brained personality.

So here I am today. I am away from family, friends, and the home I’ve known for 13 years. I’m in a new city all on my own. I’m embarking on a path, that for the first time, makes zero sense to me and I have no clue how it’s going to end up. Yet at the same time, I’m 21 and I am one tax form away from having my own small business. I have a talent and curiosity that is growing by the day and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.


6 thoughts on “The Creative, Nerdy Type

  1. Molly,

    Its great to hear that you have found your calling! I too understand the pressure of following in your parent’s footsteps and know it is extremely liberating to break those chains of self-doubt and be on a mission. Like myself, it definitely sounds like you’re on a mission with a clear goal in sight. Knowing what you want and doing everything in your power to obtain it is very admirable.


  2. Hey Molly!
    That is so great that you have found something that you love to do! My dad has always told me you have to do what you love. I recently just changed my major from psychology to communications to pursue a more creative path as well and I couldn’t be happier with that decision. But I do agree that it took me a while to get there and it was a tough decision. I admire your determination!


  3. Molly,
    I have a few friends at Mines who aren’t confident enough to transfer even though they hate it.. I’m glad you were honest with yourself and your family and have found a happy home in Boulder. Growing up being not successful in math classes I am envious of your abilities. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer, it sounds like your goals are very attainable.


  4. Molly,
    I had a very similar experience with my initial major. Growing up, I was very science and math oriented as well and had always wanted to go to Med School. I shadowed a pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor throughout my senior year and thought I would surely follow in his footsteps. Yet, when I came to CU I found a love in culture and literature, and ended up where I am now. Even though I was given a hard time by my parents and the doctor I shadowed, I was suddenly much more passionate in Classics then I was in science. I hope that everything at CU works out well for you and that you have an easy transferring process.

  5. Molly –
    You might enjoy this podcast episode with our gal Brene and Liz Gilbert (and if you haven’t read Big Magic yet, you might like to, even though it’s sort of focused on writing): And also, episode 1 is pretty awesome too: (and really goes along with the stuff you’re saying here).

  6. Molly,
    I feel the same way regarding my academic abilities. I believe that I pick up on facts and numbers that are structured and set in stone versus changing ideas and creative concepts. It’s crazy too because one of my majors is Marketing, so go figure that one. I declared a certificate in technology, arts, and media only to help me along being more creative and able to adapt more to the things that aren’t set in stone. I may not be the most innovative person, but I realize that and I’m trying to work on it and I’m actually thoroughly enjoying it! Who knew!

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