I’m writing this on Tuesday 24 May, but I’m setting it to post in August/September. Let’s call this a note to my future self. An encouragement. A reminder that there’s a reason you chose to do this.
I’ll explain. I’ve never been much for education. I can’t concentrate, I don’t believe University is gospel and the most exciting thing for me is buying stationary (oh sweet smelling gel pens). I went to Uni for 6 months, moved to Cyprus (for all the wrong reasons) and decided to knuckle down in work instead. That was in 2009, and in 2016, I work for the Chairman of a blue chip company. I’m on good money, good hours, I get a pension, stocks, freebies. And I hate it.
I coasted my way through life, convinced that the money was worth it, that it was easier than a degree, so why not just stick at it? Then life got (really) fucking hard, my mental health deteriorated, I started to picture myself in the same place for 30 years and it petrified me. (I’d have a sick pension though.)
The stress knocked me out, caused me stomach issues, I had to take time off and reevaluate myself. De-stress. Regroup. Except I didn’t do that. I got happier in my blogging, sure. But things got worse. And I realised I wasn’t doing anything to improve my life, I was just off work, worrying about the fact I was off work and nothing was really changing.
Whenever somebody asks me “what is your dream job?”, it rolls off the tongue, lickity split – “Writing.” And do you want to know what I’ve done to achieve that dream? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. I sat and waited for JK Rowling to rock up at my door like “s’up, girl? Wanna be a ghost writer for me?”
I realised I was kidding myself. Writing a few paragraphs every few years and picturing myself winning an award didn’t exactly qualify me to be a writer. Just a serious day-dreamer who would one day regret everything.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had this realisation before. And at the time I said, “I should go back to Uni.” But I was slapped in the face with “that’s a cop out” and “it’ll just be 3 years later with no difference”. I suddenly felt like Uni was my excuse, my fall back and I was embarrassed to even suggest to anyone I was considering it. Until I read a Jameela Jamil article in Cosmopolitan, which hit me hard.
She (seemingly) had it all – who wouldn’t want to be a Radio 1 DJ? It was amazing! But she quit. Because even though it seemed she had the world, it didn’t mean that to her. So she took a risk, she jumped – and she’s landed, almost perfectly, on two feet.
So why can’t I do that?
Why can’t I drown out the voices who tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t and just do it?
And if it turns out to be a mistake, so what? At least I can say I tried. At least I can say that I went for something I wanted to do, I pushed myself, I took a chance, I gave up great pay and comfortable hours for a student loan and revising until 2am.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll look back on this post even past September. Maybe I’ll look back in 2020 and giggle and sigh and say, “Thank. God. I. Did. That.”
Because my job makes me ill. I don’t see a future. I’m not doing what I love. So fuck them. Fuck this. Fuck stability. Fuck pensions.
I’m doing it.
I’m ripping off the band aid.