I’ve been writing since I was a child. Being drawn to story, learning, and truth has led me through many mediums: music, theatre, photography, journalism, but always I seem to wind up back with my pen scratching paper or my fingers on the keyboard.
Over the last four years, I got pretty comfortable in my writing. I had a steady gig with Canadian Gardening, blogging and writing for their website. I had other writing projects, of course, but when someone asked me what I was doing in the career department, I had that official job to mention. It meant I was a ‘real’ writer, didn’t it? I was getting paid, indefinitely, to write. Which is not as normal as you might think.
But just last month, there was a management decision in the parent company of ‘my’ magazine to take all their production in-house. Which meant I was out. Axed. Done. However you want to put it, my comfortable job was over and I was back to strictly freelance work. I knew it would happen someday, in some way, but the news still came as a bit of a shock, and I’m slightly embarrassed to say just how down I got over the whole thing. I had other doors open, new directions I could go, old pieces waiting for my attention. But now when someone asked me what I was doing in the career department, I felt like my answer had to be past tense: “I was,” “I did.”
What was I now?
Was this simply my pride being hurt? A mid-life crisis?
I just finished reading a fictionalized account of the life of Moses, and I couldn’t help but see my life in the shadow of his: tossed out, seemingly forgotten, prepared for more.
What if “losing” this job was really a blessing, opening up my mind and my time to different, possibly better, opportunities? Just the diatribe a cheesy life coach would pour on at a time like this, right? But as I’ve seen things play out the last few weeks, it’s true. It’s just hard to admit when you’re breathing your own self pity.
Most of us have started over a time or two in our lives: new job, new school, changed relationships, changed selves. It can be simultaneously exciting and uncomfortable, living in a new skin. And while in some ways, starting this blog feels like starting from scratch, my deeper self knows it’s just what’s next. Exciting. Uncomfortable. And new.