Today I have been wanting to write a blog post to update you all on recent events but I kept getting distracted with shiny sparkly things on the Internet, then I found this when I stumbled upon a blog and discovered an amazing manifesto.

Yes, I wept.

Just a little.

You should all know by now that I’m a bit of an emotional person. I am trying to fix this with a bitter dose of cynicism every day but, when it comes down to it, I’m at a point where life feels like it’s in limbo, so my emotions are on the edge. At least, that’s how I felt ten minutes ago. Now …

First, an update:

  • I’m single again.
  • I’ll be unemployed in two weeks (I resigned on Friday).
  • I’m still living at home.
  • The parrot is still squawking.

I’ve never been happier. Or rather, I’ve never felt more like the world is waiting for me. This time, we’re both ready.

My dissertation is going to be submitted within the next fortnight. My bank account is at a happy point where I can feel comfortable in making a decision and rolling with it. I’ve spent today reading and writing and not really doing much, which is perfect (although I should probably have a shower and wash my hair … ).

The problem is that I don’t need to find my passion; I’ve found my damn passion, I just don’t know what the hell to do with it. I once said I didn’t want to write for a living – what the hell was I thinking? I also got all misty-eyed about commencing a career in publishing … Well, as it turns out, I simply cannot count pens with joy or anything remotely akin to interest. Am I impatient? Probably. Am I failure? … No. No, I don’t think I am. I tried. It didn’t work. Now I get to move on.

This is a familiar point in life – I’ve been here before. Several times, in fact. Except … this time something’s different. Something’s … Brighter. Shinier. Happier. No, not something, someone. It’s me. I’m … absolutely OK. That’s a pretty cool feeling.

There’s an advertisement on TV that I saw last night which describes life with the following linear structure:

  • Graduate.
  • Build your career.
  • Get married.
  • Buy a house.
  • Have kids.
  • Retire.

My life is following a bit of a zig-zag structure:

  • Graduate.
  • Start your career.
  • Change your mind and start another one.
  • Go back to uni.
  • Travel.
  • Start another career while still studying.
  • Change your mind on that career too …

And … then?

  • Do I look for a job I might actually enjoy? (Is there even one out there for me?)
  • Do I pick a country and go do some volunteer work? (Nepal or Peru?)
  • Do I get a visa and move to the UK? (Or to Canada?)
  • Do I lock myself in a cabin and write, write, write until I produce something worthy of publication? (Failing a cabin, I could just find a local library … )
  • Do I open a bottle of wine or is it too early in the day? (Daylight savings is on my side … )

Yes, I still want someone to take me by the hand and make my decision for me. But really, nothing I choose will be wrong if I do it with courage and seek to find my own happiness. And I can always come back to this point again and make a different choice … at least it will give me something to write about.




20 comments on “Manifesto

  1. Pingback: Letting loose the safari within « dodging commas

  2. Pingback: Everything you need, you have. « dodging commas

  3. Both your wonderful post and the many wise comments are so full of inspiration. I’ll be returning to this often: I need all the wisdom and inspiration I can get (!) Meanwhile…best of luck to you!

  4. You know you’ve made the right decision when such joy shines through – well done you!

    Top tip – forget the writing, it will happen. LIVE. Go and have as many experiences as possible, while writing, and your writing will be infused with the truth of a real existence. So, do ALL of those things on your list. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  5. Good for you. It sounds like you’re on the right track and I’m loving your new-found enthusiasm. Thanks so much for sharing the blog post and the shout-out; I really dig your blog as well!

    All the best to you and continued happiness on your journey!

  6. Hi..first, I want to steal that opening of yours.

    YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE..ok..that is out of the way.

    I tell my students, no matter what I am teaching, no matter if they are little kids or adults: the only real failure is to NOT try something, to let fear stop you. If you try something, and it doesn’t work, it’s not failing. More people will be immobilized into doing nothing: that, to me, is the real failure in life.

    Keep pushing, keep searching, and realize one great thing: you can always change your mind and direction when it’s time to do so. I don’t believe we have to be locked into ONE idea/thought/passion for our entire lives. When something new excites you: embrace it.

  7. Traditional Publishers like Penguin are so 20th century, though don’t tell Penguin I said that, in case they want to pay me for something again (not holding my breath).

    Keep pushing yourself, and keep writing. If you do move, I’d suggest Canada. UK is so tradition bound. Canada seems more creative. Yes, I know, the UK gave birth to some of the world’s greatest writers, but if Shakespeare were alive today, he’d have moved to Vancouver.

  8. “I still want someone to take me by the hand and make my decision for me. But really, nothing I choose will be wrong if I do it with courage and seek to find my own happiness. And I can always come back to this point again and make a different choice” – I need to remind myself of this more often as I have been known to cripple myself into inertia from the pressure of having to choose from so many bloody options!

    In any case, it sounds like you’re in the right frame of mind to move forward despite the setbacks. I was exactly the same about working in publishing! I was mesmerised by all the books and a chance to be a part of the industry when I started at Penguin, until I realised I wanted to be the TALENT dammit! Not the invoicing, filing, pen-counting administrator!

    At least you know that all these twists and turns make good fodder for writing stories! πŸ™‚ Keep on keeping on Stef!

  9. That NaNoWriMo thing is coming up again soon. You may not be a part of the Na(tion) to which the Mo(nth) belongs, but I know you would have some friends online Wri(ting) their own No(vels) at the same time!

  10. I LOVE THIS POST~!!! πŸ™‚ YOU SO ROCK… And minus the dissertation…and traveling… I’m in the same boat! Thanks for posting it! πŸ™‚

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