Being true to myself when it comes to work is something that has always been important to me. The career that I follow pretty much shapes the next 30/40/50 years of my life, and I want to be happy with the choices I make for myself. What’s the point of living a life if it’s only going to make you miserable?
Up until the end of last year, that career path proved difficult to see. When I started my freelancing, I was the last person in my group of friends to have found some form of employment. That’s not great when you’re a graduate with a never-ending collection of loans that need paying off. However, despite this setback, I was also the first person to get work related to the course that I’d spent three years studying.
The writing industry isn’t the easiest to get into, and my own experience has proved that who you know can often be a lot more influential than what you have. It’s only by chance (and my parents involvement) that I was able to secure my first freelancing gig back in December, and I will forever be grateful for it. Although it took half a year to get my foot in the door, the waiting was worthwhile.
I’ve never been someone that will do something for the money. While everyone else was getting jobs in shops and pubs to start saving up cash, I was willing to wait it out for something related to writing because I knew any other job would make me miserable. This probably comes off to some people as being lazy or snobbish which is why I don’t tend to talk about it that much with others, but I keep seeing this quote by Alan Watts and I’m reminded that my feelings are justified.
When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that and forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
~ Alan Watts
We only have one life – at least that’s what I believe – and if we don’t live it to the fullest then we’re throwing away the precious time that we have. Working in a job that makes me miserable is completely redundant because all I’m doing in earning money to keep on living a life that I’m not happy with.
Of course, there are always many viewpoints to things like this and I imagine some people reading this are thinking that you have to get through the bad to earn the good. That is true. I suppose if I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a family that financially supports me while I look for writing work then my feelings would be different. Words cannot describe how lucky I have been to end up with the life I’ve gotten.
This quote has stuck with me for several years now and I’m hoping that anyone reading this finds it has the same effect on them. You should always follow your dreams, even if they seem too far out of reach.
Cliché, I know.
Not everyone gets such a strong following of people supporting them with their dreams the way I have with my writing, especially when they want to be in an industry that is extremely difficult to succeed in. My family could have easily forced me to go down a more conventional route for my future career, even though I’ve never been the type of person that responds well to those sorts of jobs. Without that support, it would’ve be easy for me to give up hope on achieving what I want.
If you don’t have anyone around cheering you on then stay strong – you got this. There will always be someone out there who believes in you.
And at the end of the day, it’s your life. Make it worth living.