Writer as ‘career decision’

Last week somewhere this quote appeared on my Pinterest page. I read lots of inspirational stuff there and I usually don’t think much of it, but this one hit me.

I didn’t choose to become a writer. I am a writer.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my career counsellor and he said: “It’s a lonely occupation you have chosen.” At that moment I thought to myself: It’s not an occupation I have chosen. It’s the only thing I can see myself doing for the next sixty years. I am indeed not fit for anything else.

I work in retail now. I am very unhappy there. I overthink things. I overanalyse everything, which is why I don’t finish tasks on time. I want to do things properly which takes too much time. The biggest problem is that I think for myself instead of blindly following what I am told to do. I am too smart for my own good. I have trouble connecting with my colleagues. Today’s date is February 15 2015. So I said to my colleague: “It’s a cool date today: 02 15 2015.” He answered: “Oh, is it someone’s birthday?” “No, but the numbers of this date match so nicely.” He gave me the nod of someone who’s thinking: Right, I’ll just nod politely and walk away slowly. That girl’s crazy.

The past year, two years, I’ve looked at many occupations. I’ve looked at job vacancy sites and imagined myself in many work spaces. I can’t do it. I don’t want a dull office job where I get to make copies and get coffee for the manager. I’m not fit to work with my hands. I’m not a good leader, despite the fact that people tend to turn to me because I have a solution for most issues.

I am a writer. It’s the only occupation that I’ve had for all my life and have always gone back to. I’ve taken breaks, sometimes for many years, but I have always come back to writing. And even now I didn’t decide to be a writer, to pursue this as a professional career. I’ve posted some stories online and people seemed to like them. I thought that with my first story on Amazon I might be able to buy one cup of coffee a month. That has turned out to be about ten cups of coffee. That’s by far not enough to quit my day job, but more than I expected.

Will it be a ‘long, hard road for the rest of my life’? Definitely. I am certain of it. But nothing has ever come easy to me. I foresee depression, despair and frustration in the not so distant future in pursuing this path. I just hope that one day people will let me know that they do indeed appreciate my stories. That my stories helped them or maybe only helped them to forget the world for fifteen minutes. And the time I spend writing stories, how difficult it may be, feels a thousand times better than any second spend in my day job. Deep within me it just feels right. The true me is being heard and being allowed to speak. And that’s all that matters.

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