Take a Risk, Take A Chance, Make a Change

Every journey starts with one step forward. I’ve been on a hiatus from the blogasphere for good reason. I’ve embarked on a new adventure along the road less travelled. But let’s rewind to the point of where my conundrum first began. Have you ever sat at work, staring blankly at your computer screen thinking “there’s gotta be more to life than this?”

Image Source: livelifehappy.com

I left my last job almost 2.5 years ago. After 7.5 years in a marketing role, I knew I had reached a dead end but I also longed for something different. After a three week trip to Egypt, I came back refreshed with every intention to look for another job. But as I searched and prepared for potential interviews, my heart wasn’t in it…..something felt so wrong. It hit me hard like a tonne of bricks…. I was lost and disillusioned.

I had reached a crossroads and for once in my life, I had no plan to fall back on! I’m a structured, organised person. I never just wing it and go by gut feel. I’ve always been a planner. So much so that when I travel, I bring my entire wardrobe, a range of clothes that could rival the entire Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter collection at David Jones or Bergdorf Goodman – it’s for those ‘just in case’ scenarios. I’ve had goals and ambitions and a deep desire to progress forward in my career. But I fell off the rails with a giant thud! Actually, I bizarrely hopped onto a different track; I took a random ride down an alternative route, with no clear idea where the journey would lead me. The question that loomed was ‘If you could be anything, what would you be?’

For years, I’ve yearned to be a journalist/writer, a fashion designer or an interior decorator. Those ambitions were never encouraged during my high school years.  Given my background, you either became a doctor or lawyer, and if you weren’t smart enough, you entered the corporate jungle. God forbid if I wanted to be a hairdresser, my family would have disowned me and kicked me to the curb.

So as I faced one of life’s major crossroads, I had two options: to follow the straight, narrow and predictable path or take a rough, bumpier ride along the road less travelled? My brain was loud and clear, ‘stick with the commercial wilderness!’. It made logical sense as the corporate world offered an abundance of marketing positions with a stable income. But my heart was adamant, ‘take a walk on the wild side!’. Do I follow my artistic ambitions? The idea of biting the bullet and opting for a career change scared the living daylight out of me.

But it was my better half that paved the way and let me see the light. He challenged and encouraged me to chase the impossible….to follow my dreams, take a chance and to pursue what I’m passionate about. It was an epiphany that was met with considerable hesitation…..but what if I fail????

The fact is….I DID FAIL!!!!  In the months that followed after quitting my job, at the suggestion of my partner in crime, I did a short course in “writing for children”. I’ve always had this aim to pen my own children’s picture book and someday have it published. I loved it! The course got the creative juices flowing. I created a handful of short stories aimed at 4-8 year old children. I even showed my friends’ kids to gain their feedback…ok…it was a bit hit and miss….but it was part of the learning curve. However, the low point was receiving one rejection letter after another from various publishers. That was a ‘jagged little pill1‘ to swallow. The bubble burst. The whole ‘delusional’ idea of becoming the next J.K. Rowling or Roald Dahl went down the drain faster than a sewer rat. I felt deflated! I lost my artistic mojo!

Again, it was my better half who pushed me to get back up…..to do what you love!

So the adventure continues. I’ve taken the plunge and decided to go back to University to follow my other goal of becoming an interior decorator. I’m completely overwhelmed and not quite treading water!!!! I’m giddy with excitement but nauseous at the same time.

The point is, I don’t want to live life with regrets. I don’t want to look back over the years and have those niggling thoughts at the back of my head…’ if only I did this’….’if only I did that’. I don’t want to sit there pondering and dreaming of what could have been, knowing I didn’t try.

It sounds so cliché but when it comes to achieving ‘the impossible’….if at first you don’t succeed dust yourself off and try again2. I have tried and failed and tried again. I’ve probably bought a little shame to the family and have left my parents feeling somewhat bewildered and mortified. Others may look at me as somewhat of an embarrassment. I know I do!

However, the difference between the ‘negative Nancys’ and the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and the J.K. Rowlings of the world is that they turned a dream into a reality and never gave up! Regardless of the outcome, these people gave it a shot and turned the ‘Impossible’ into a ‘Possibility’!

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all fun and games. I’ve eaten humble pie and it sucks! But over time it becomes an acquired taste (actually, I lie; I still choke on humble pie!). It’s been a tough, hard slog with many setbacks along the way. It’s rough on the self-esteem and this journey has beaten me and smacked me up. There have been many lessons learned over the past 2.5 years. I don’t know if it’s made me stronger and wiser….maybe just a little more thick skinned.

Never Give UpMore importantly, I have the love and support of a wonderful partner who has encouraged me throughout the process. I’ve suffered from so much self-doubt. But he’s believed in me more than I believe in myself. Even though I’ve made mistakes, I’ve stumbled and fallen and as I’ve struggled to get back up, he’s never given up or frowned and looked down upon me. And it makes a world of difference!

Aim high and chase that elusive goal. As per the Nike slogan, ‘Just Do It’! Take a risk, take a chance, make a change2 and give it a try. I’m finally turning things around and pursuing my dreams and following my own path….wherever it takes me. I’m bound to get lost along the way but that’s part of the adventure!

As Mother Theresa said: Life is a dream….Realize it!

Citations

1. Alanis Morissette, ‘Jagged Little Pill’, Producer: Glen Ballard, Label: Maverick, Reprise

2. Aaliyah, ‘Try Again’, Producer: Timbaland, Label: Blackground, Writers: Stephen Garrett, Timothy Mosley

3. Kelly Clarkson, ‘Breakaway’, Producer: John Shanks, Label: Walt Disney, RCA, Writers: Avril Lavigne, Bridget Benenate,Matthew Gerrard

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27 thoughts on “Take a Risk, Take A Chance, Make a Change

  1. I am so delighted to read your blog post! Yours was one of the first blogs I started following and now I have my own blog that I delight in writing. I think that you regret what you don’t do, rather than what you do (within reason of course. I mean, i would regret burning down the house if I left the iron on in the cupboard). But you know what? You are right. You only have one life so strive for it to be what you want it to be. My husband and I both drive buses at the moment (different companies, for a change) but we have a five or six year plan – to sell our house and buy a caravan and travel round Australia. It won’t be the richest of existence financially, but it will be rich with life and experience. GO FOR YOUR DREAMS!!!!! 🙂

    • Oh wow, that’s so cool. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this post and following my blog. To be honest with you, I really thought the only people who’d read this blog were my folks…and that’s because they feel obligated hehehe I’ve always had many dreams that were so out of reach, but mainly because I didn’t do anything towards achieving them. Sometimes, you just have to go for it and accept the fact if you stumble, there’s no harm in trying. Travelling around Australia is one of my long term goals as well. It would be awesome!!! You’re only young once:)

  2. Best to you as you pursue your dreams!! What courage … just taking the first steps is tough. If you can do that (and you did), you will succeed!

    • Thanks so much for the positive words. It hasn’t been smooth sailing and at times I still have my doubts about whether I made the right decision, but I’ll just soldier on and see where this road takes me…..

  3. This post hit home. It’s like you have read my mind and voiced it out loud. I’m in a similar crossroad. I love my corporate job but after 13 years, I’m already feeling the burden. But I don’t know where to go. I could go back to being a journalist but it doesn’t pay much. I want to be a travel writer but I don’t know how to go about it. That’s why I started my blog on travel, just to see if I can do it. Then maybe, one of these days, my dream would indeed come true.

    • I’m so glad you can relate to this post. It’s far from ideal when you’re no longer passionate about what you do. You spend so much time at work, if only we could all enjoy it. I’ve always dreamed of being a travel writer as well. Like you, I’ve started a blog, just to reflect on the trips I’ve been on the countries I’ve visited. Fingers crossed for both of us that our dreams come true. Cheers!!! Again, so glad this post resonated with you:)

  4. Thank you! I really enjoyed reading this post as it hit pretty close to home. It’s not easy doing something out of the norm, especially when there’s nothing “wrong” with taking the road more travelled than not. I’m used to people thinking I’m crazy for choosing to move and pursue something else. But I’m happy. It’s funny, about an hour ago I listened to “Jagged Little Pill” and pondered how difficult it was (and will continue to be) to start a new journey by swallowing that little pill.

    I wish you the best in your endeavors!

    • I’m so glad this post has resonated with you. You’re right, doing something “outside of the box” is never easy. You’re only young once, you only have one life to live….you might as make the most of it. As long as you’re happy, that’s the key. The thing is:

      You live, you learn
      You love, you learn
      You cry, you learn
      You lose, you learn
      You bleed, you learn
      You scream, you learn

  5. Great post! As an insecure artist I can totally relate. I too am blessed to have a husband that believes in my talents more than I do, I just wish he would do the marketing. Humble pie is never an easy dish to swallow, so just create what you love and you will be blessed in the joy of your creation.

    • Awwwww thanks sooooooo much. That really made my day. I’ve taken the first step towards a career change. I have a long way to go before reaching my dream. I still don’t know if I’ve done the right thing. I have my fingers and toes crossed it all works out for the best……

  6. I can relate to so much of what you wrote about needing that professional job etc and your family and social expectations. I ended up becoming chronically ill and ended up taking an entirely different road…the road untravelled. Not my choice but I am glad that I at least make a break from those chains of social expectation. Ironically, my chronic illness gave me the space and permission to write and like you I have also explored writing for kids and have done a few workshops at the Sydney Writer’s Festival including with Jackie French and Andy Griffith. I sent off a few manuscripts which were rejected and am thinking about revisiting a few of them again with fresh eyes. xx Rowena

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