When I left my job back in June, I did so with the intent of focusing my attention on pursuing a writing career. Ideas on how to do that were plentiful, and I felt full of the necessary excitement to start making those ideas a reality. I had plans and focus and a path. I was ready.
Six months later, I have realized that while I am a very ambitious person, I am also a little too focused on success. My ambition gets mixed up with my desire for success and I get confused; suddenly my ambition to become a skilled writer becomes my ambition to be successful. I feel that I’ve lost sight of what I want.
In addition to these realizations, I’ve also begun to recognize my weaknesses as a writer. I’m still discovering them and digging to find them, but a few have become blatant in the past few weeks. If I truly want to be a skilled writer, if I want to honor my dream, then I have to take some time to work on those weaknesses. I’m seeing that, right now at least, this is more important than moving forward on a career path.
My good sense tells me that I have many years to accomplish my goals and realize my dreams. But my crazy, illogical side believes that I have to figure out the rest of my life in the next six months. I have convinced myself that by the time I am thirty I must know the course my life will take over the next thirty years. When I say it out loud, I can see how silly it is to believe that so completely. I know that it’s okay to be unsure of where I’ll be in thirty years, hell, even in one year. But my brain has become convinced that I need to know. Scratch that. My control freak needs to know.
So this few steps back is my attempt to release the control I’ve deluded myself into thinking I have and try to get back to what it is I truly want. I can’t run a million miles an hour and expect to see clearly. The risk is that, by accepting this time to process and work, I’ll end up convincing myself that I’m not capable of really pursuing this. The risk is that I will throw the whole idea down the toilet and think back on this time in thirty years with regret. The risk is believing in myself enough to not let that happen.