What am I going to do with my life?

There's this thing I used to do.  It's the sort of creative thing you can do as a career, but you  have to work your way into.  I went quite a distance, and people thought I was good at it.  People doing it as a career thought I'd be good enough to join them with a bit more practice, and people at the same level I was at then are successful now.  The future was looking pretty bright.

But I stopped.

I don't really know why.  The thing is, I had got to the point where if I really put my head down and concentrated on doing this thing, I could give up work.  Things were all moving in the right direction.  But I'd been temping for years, had no job security and nothing to fall back on (I'm not from a rich background) and then someone offered me a higher paid, secure day job and I thought, if I can do this and take a break from the thing I'm doing as a hobby for six months, I'll have a secure nine to five - and then I can get my head down and concentrate on the other thing until I can quit the new job.

Then it got complicated.  Without an outside interest, I realised I really, really hated my new job.  As security nets go, it was a shit one.  I was miserable.  At this point, I should have probably thought sod it and gone back to temping while I really concentrated on banging away at the hobby, but instead I buggered off to university at 27 years old.  I figured I could pick up where I left off while studying, but that never happened.  Working in all the hours you're not in lectures and shunting across town to get between the two is actually pretty hard work, and by the evenings I was knackered.  So I graduated, got a better job, got married.  All that good stuff.

And here I am.  This year it will be ten years since I last did the thing I used to do.  Ten years.  That's a long time.  And now, the person who sits next to me at work has just started doing it, and I can't help feeling nostalgic.  It's more than nostalgia though.  I want to do it again.  I'm older, but probably not too old.  I'm dusting off all my old books and looking through friends of Facebook friends to see who's still around.  It'll take a bit of work to get prepared, so I suppose this could be yet another 'no blogging for a little while' posts, and I apologise if it is.  But I have to find out if I can still do it, if I like it and whether or not I want to carry on doing it.

As a great man once said, "I gots to know".


Anton Vowl said...

As I recall, the great man in question had a Magnum 44 pointed at his face by Dirty Harry. But you're right; if you gots to know, you gots to know.

Unknown said...

As one gets older, it becomes more crystal clear, that one has to try. Not to do so, and then life is but a string of regrets.

so good luck

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Cheers Anton - you're bang on with the Dirty Harry reference that I thought would be cryptic and have the three people that read this guessing.

Has the universe fired six shots, or only five?

Unknown said...

As Reg says, if you don't do this you could well live a life of regret.

I feel it's important to follow your dreams.. even if you have to jump out of a plane without a parachute at times. Think positive, put your best into it.. and even if the Universe has fired that 6th shot there's a chance it might take it back.

MU said...

What if your dream is to sell roadside corn? Does the universe consider you a failure if you achieve it?

Ernie Goggins said...

Never mind that, have you thought of trying stand-up comedy?

merrick said...

You are completely right to go and try the thing again.

Imagine being ten years down the line still at your shitty job, the person who sat next to you is off doing it really well and you're being corroded with regret and might-have-been. It's never worth doing anything long term that's just for the money, it drains the humanity out of you.

Worst case is you find you're no good at the thing any more. Fine, that clears that out of your way. For a keen and inquisitive person like you, the demise of that ability will open clear space into which some new thing of meaning will come.

You've got to live as if this is your only life and you're more than someone's skivvy for cash. Because it is and you are.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

Thanks people. I've had my head down preparing - well, that and pretending to be Metallica on Guitar Hero, so no chance to reply so far.

Cheers Ernie. I have, but unfortunately I'll be too busy selling roadside corn.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No regrets. March on. One from none.

Or in the words of the Pink Fairies..


Matthew Smith said...

Just thought I'd bring this to your attention: it's the Daily Mail's "is ME a real illness" poll, done in the early days of the Gilderdale trial. From Enemies of Reason.

I was wondering why I found the Mail's sympathy for Lynn G's mum so surprising. (I do think ME is real, but the loud show of sympathy doesn't chime with the "yuppie flu" and "malingers' excuse" nonsense they've carried in the past.)

Larry Teabag said...

Glass-blowing? Scottish mouth music?

I say give the thing a whirl. My guess is you'll value it and stick at it more this time around. It's too easy to think "whatever, I'll do it later" when you're young. Best of luck.