“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I was supposed to be a writer.

As a child, I treasured no sisterhood of dolls. I yearned for no film stars. Team sports, I simply ignored. Instead, I recall only my fingers working feverishly over my grandfather's typewriter, a roar in my ears from the torrent of words swirling and iron keys smashing.

Now, I write — but only in bullets, always in threes, and never below the fold. In the commodities business, there is only fact, never fiction.

Yet even as I tamped down my creative side in favor of the analytical, it rearedup in urgent, startling impulses. Outside of work, I threw myself into photography,interior, and graphic design. My bifurcated life troubled me deeply. Which was to be my life's work?

With two years to reflect, the tension has ebbed. I've realized that the flow I experience when structuring a deck is not so different from when I shape a photo essay. Creating a strategy that transforms hopes into plans is like designing a layout that transforms blank boxes into homes. Whether I point-and-click in PowerPoint or Illustrator, I am expressing my point of view.

I may not be a professional writer, photographer, or designer, but I will always be creative.

— Amy Long