Let’s say you are pursuing a career that is deemed out of reach for a range of reasons. Singer, actor, writer, life coach, YouTuber, these kinds of titles have a certain negative stigma attached to them. Not because they are terrible life decisions but because they are hard to reach. Because so many people strive for these titles which make the success rate a pretty low one.
When I first decided to pursue writing, it was done so quietly. Because I knew what it sounds like to tell people you are going to be a writer. It seems so far-fetched and especially in this economy, it makes you sound like a bit of a dreamer. I lived a life that was quite rational and calculated, life decisions that a parent would deem good decision making. Parents tend to want you to go the education route and so I did; the process of going to University, completing an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Politics while juggling retail work and a volunteering role I had acquired during University. Once I was fresh faced out of full-time education I did some more volunteering work in numerous NGOs to make that CV more attractive.
Yes, I like politics, I have a keen interest in it and the theories that surround it all are appealing to me. This was never my passion however, I didn’t feel as alive reading political journals as I did creating content, written content to be more exact. For some reason, I never considered making my passion my job simply because I deemed work ought to be work. Something you suffer through until you reach the weekend, and that is true for many. I was at a point however where things weren’t moving forward even with the qualifications I had and the work experience I gathered, and while somewhat depressing, it gave me the space to explore; explore different passions and question my whole way of thinking. It took a very enlightened outsider at my volunteering placement to tell me that I ought to do something with my love for writing. Long story short, you are reading this now aren’t you?
Now if someone asked me a few months ago what I do or want to be doing I would have said ‘anything and everything, I need a job and I need the bloody cash’. I can’t quite describe the feeling with words (which is ironic) when I now describe myself as a writer. Yes, I do get a few raised eyebrows but that’s okay. My validation comes from the people who read my words and find those words to have an impact and trigger some sort of reaction in complete strangers. I don’t need any more validation than that. My realisation came with the fact that I should be able to dream big if it’s something I am willing to work for and cards on the table; I very much prefer to work hard for a dream that I will never achieve than settling for life and living with a job that will never satisfy me.
If you want to become something that does fall within the mainstream, take pride in it. Even if it is a path that is layered with ridicule and struggle, take pride in the fact that you are set on it nevertheless. Describe yourself as a dancer if you consider yourself to be one because you are the second you choose to be. It is a huge leap forward when you can confidently tell the stranger at the bus stop that you are on your way to becoming the one thing you once daydreamed about. There is power in words, admitting things to yourself silently in your room, then out loud in front of the mirror and then to your family, friends and eventually strangers. It resets your outlook and attitude once you see yourself as someone who is already what they always wanted to be.