19 October 2010

Giving myself permission...

Thanks to a fantastic blogp post by Libba Bray, I must add my two cents to this whole idea of success and failure and whatnot. Read her post before you continue. Please. It's excellent.

Done? OK. Excellent.

I need to give my job the "it's not you, it's me" speech soon. I hate it. The glamor and allure have faded, leaving me upset and jaded. I've learned over the last month what my priorities really are, and writing is one of the tops. Blogging is in there, keeping up with agents, networking with other writers, going to conferences...in other words, doing what it'll take to at least begin my writing career. My goal since I was 8 has been to become a published author, and I live in an area where I have the avenues to do it. But since taking this job, I haven't had the time. Today, after reading Libba's fabulous response, I gave myself permission to be happy. I gave myself permission to quit my job and NOT feel bad about it.

My version of success is not like most other people's, I'm sure. I don't measure success by the things I own, how much money I make, or what my title is. I measure my success by whether or not I've achieved my goals. So far, I've had a successful life. And before I took this job, I was happy. A lot happier than I am now. I've been sitting on the same chapter for over a week now... If I'm ever going to get Taming the Ancients done, I kiiiinda need to be able to write it. My mom understands. My sister, however, does not.

She can't understand why I'm so dissatisfied. No matter how many times I try to explain that writing is the path I've chosen, she can't accept that I don't want to be just like her. She runs an office/company. She's happy working 12 hours a day. And that's great. I'm happy that she's happy. But I'm happy when I'm writing. When I'm accomplishing. Every chapter I finish makes me giddy. Every round of revisions I've completed thrills me to no end. Every step closer I come to achieving my ultimate dream makes me want it that much more. Because I now have the confidence in my talent that I've needed to drive me. And I'm not about to let this stupid job stand in my way, damnit!

See, here's the kicker. I should be THRILLED that I have this job. I'm actually pretty good at it. I have the opportunity to make 105,000/yr. I could solve all of my financial problems by keeping it and excelling at it. But I'm sacrificing what's most important to me. And I can't abide that. I can't sacrifice my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my writing. Just can't do it. It goes against my personality. The people in my life are too important to me. Make sense? I hope so. If not, that's okay. I'm giving myself permission to do what makes me happy. And y'all need to do that too.

I swear I had a better post than this in my mind... The entire point of this ramble and of Libba's blog post is that we need to give ourselves permission to be happy pursuing our goals and not trying to keep up with the Joneses or meet some sort of rat race requirement (yay alliteration!). We only get to live once. I'd rather look back on my life and know that I gave everything I had to achieve my goals than look back and wonder what would have happened if I'd been brave enough to try.

How about you guys? Have you made a decision family and/or friends found to be ridiculous?


christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christine said...

Yep,they think I’m crazy all the time. In fact most of my family wouldn't even talk to me about the fact that I wrote a book. "Stupid Christine couldn't have written anything worthwhile." And now that it's out with two agents they seem to be coming around. My husband hasn't even read it and my mother said "what a nice little story"(I almost choked her). I love my family, I do. But they are all (with the exception of my author aunt) normal, straight and narrow people, with normal, straight and narrow ideas about life. For a long time I thought of myself as the black sheep. But now, after a long, long time I consider myself the neon pink sheep. The sheep that prances. The sheep that doesn't follow the norm and with no doubt, never will. And that’s ok, for me and now even them. It is hard to be different. One person’s standard of success is so different than another’s. So I'm proud to hear that I have another neon pink sheep friend out there. Life is too short to pretend to be anyone other than who you are!