If I think about it- and I do a lot, my life has taken an odd detour lately.
Odd in terms of the fact I’m doing something I never thought I would:
I.e. taking a huge fucking risk.
You see I’m generally pretty risk adverse. Generally.
Some small exceptions perhaps, but usually I get set in my routines, and I resist change like fat people resist exercise.
I tend to stack the deck in my favour before I commit to something, and I like to know exactly where I’m going to land long before I jump.
Throughout my life I’ve always done the safe thing, the smart, and normal thing, but perhaps the wrong thing, or boring, at least for me. Especially in terms of a career or following a passion.
I didn’t find mine until recently, and thankfully, according to the feedback I’ve been getting from my writers group. I’m pretty good at it, if a little graphic.
Which is exactly what I was going for. So winning.
But one thing I have learnt lately, the one thing this has all shown me, if nothing else. Is that in terms of career and passion, you can’t have one without the other, not a fulfilling one at least.
Otherwise why do you even bother?
That was my problem.
You see I woke up one day, and realised that my life was almost set, course plotted, wrong side of thirty but with no real passion. I didn’t have a reason for being there, and there wasn’t anything in particular I was working for. There wasn’t a point.
It was Groundhog Day, every day.
By always playing it safe I had ended up in a situation were I was simply following a pay check, drowning in whiskey flavoured boredom, and on a clear path to a fat gut, Prozac and an early grave.
Being normal, and ‘safe’ was going to kill me faster than the alcohol would.
To reference a quote by Ellen Goodman:
‘Normal has become getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car you are still paying for- in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.’
I’m pretty sure that would strike a cord with most, and I’m also sure most would say upon reading those words, ‘that’s just life. Get over it.’
It’s also called the rat race.
But I wanted to see if there was another way, by creating something new for myself instead of working towards someone else dream. I didn’t want to wait until it was too late, or always wonder if.
So now I know where passion and talent intercepts, the question is how do I turn that into a career?
Answer: With difficulty.
Do I think it will happen overnight?
But I’m making a good solid dent in getting it going, and by the end of this month I’ll have two finished books under heavy review and editing, with a third not far off. Do I really think it will be that easy?
But I’m making some good connections, I’m getting exposure to the industry, and all I need is one solicited request. And weeeee, straight past the slush pile.
After that… who know, a little luck and serendipity?
As for the last three months, well… the money is almost gone, as expected, and pimping myself out only brings in so much $$.
But I’ve learnt a lot, and apparently it shows on my face, and in my nature, my friends can attest to that.
So whatever happens down the line, I took a risk and it was the best thing I could have done.
Whether I ever get to be a world famous author is somewhat secondary, and still years away, even if every star aligns along the way. But at least now I know what I’m working towards. Success will come in its own time.
Who knows, perhaps it’s meant to be, nothing in life is certain. That’s why it’s called risk.
I’m just glad that at 30, I finally took one before it got even harder.
Apparently that’s a good age too.