>What if you could just live your dream?
>As a kid, when an adult asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always had a fabulous answer. A waitress! A veterinarian! A professor! A writer! I saw the world as an opportunity waiting for me to take it. I saw paths stretched out in front of me with option upon option just waiting to be plucked and made my own.
When I applied to universities, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my working life, but I knew that reading, writing, and working with people made me the happiest so I joint-majored in English and Sociology. When I stare at the wall in front of my desk today, that honours BA gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment though, really, it’s worth less than the frame it’s in. I went after my dreams, what made me happiest, and for that I feel proud. It didn’t lead me into a practical career, so I returned to university and completed a business degree in the hopes that something in there would encourage me to complete an MBA, but truthfully, I found no inspiration in business circles. (Which yes, I realise is pretty ironic given the fact that I am a serial entrepreneur and am rather addicted to starting and building small businesses.)
On maternity leave with my daughter, my husband and I together decided that I’d stay home with her and not return to my (terrible, horrible, awful) job. It had been a soul-sucking experience, was leading nowhere career-wise, and was truly an unhealthy environment for me, so I was pretty excited for a change in pace. It was on mat leave that I started my first company.
For years I’d been throwing ideas around, hoping one of them stuck. Any inventor/entrepreneur/creative type will tell you that there are always thousands of ideas that completely suck before one of them shines, even just a little. My company sprang from years of rotten ideas, and I was elated that it grew and grew. I adore my job, I really do, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to leave the corporate world behind to “try it out” for awhile. Many don’t have that financial freedom, so I realise I was fortunate.
And now that I’m sitting here five years and two companies later I wonder what it would be like if I went back to the years before money mattered and I lived a dream. As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. I have written, who am I kidding? There hasn’t been a time in my life since learning to write that I haven’t spent time putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I love writing, and for me it’s integral to my well-being. If I don’t write, I don’t thrive. I’ve had terribly self-indulgent poetry published in books I’ll never admit, I’ve written for papers, magazine and blogs, but never really made much effort. For the most part, nobody reads what I write — scribbles in journals, hidden away, blogs on sites nobody would find, emails to friends, that sort of thing. But what if I just let go of my expectations, fears, inhibitions, cynicism, doubt… what if I just did it?
I’m gonna just do it. I’m making a point to tell you today that by this time next year I will have written something, anything, that makes it into print. By this time next year I will proudly call myself A Writer. And then when my mom and dad ask me what I want to be, I’ll finally know and be able to say I became it. It may have taken more than 35 years, but hey, late beats never.