I remember when I used to do things purely out of love. I grew up in a small town that was mostly agricultural and on weekends there wasn’t much to do. We had a large backyard and on sunny days, I would lay out in the grass and get lost in a book.
I went from Thumbelina and The Pied Piper of Hamelin to the midnight feasts and sweetened condensed milk of Mallory Towers to The Sweet Valley and Sierra Jensen series as a pre-teen then on to classics like Little Women and Pride and Prejudice as an young adult.
I was an avid reader and as a natural progression of that, I became a pretty good story teller; a good writer. A blank page wasn’t intimidating to me at the time, it was exciting because I had no deadlines and I wasn’t worried about paying my utilities or medical insurance. I wrote from my heart. I wrote about subjects that were of interest to me and I wrote without self-censorship.
I was so passionate about the craft that I got my first byline as a teenager. It was a tiny piece in the Daily Nation Newspaper but it still made me beam with pride. Somewhere after College, the reality of being an adult hit me and it dawned on me that what you love doesn’t always pay the bills – at least not right away. So after freelancing for what felt like an eternity and tons of interviews that didn’t lead to call backs, I quit.
I gave up freelancing and got a ‘real’ job but sometimes when I see my friends who stuck it out, I wonder ‘what if’. What if I had worked a little bit harder, held on a little bit longer, what would my life be like? Where would I be? Would I be the same person that I am today or worse off?
I don’t know the answer to these questions and i’m not sure knowing would change anything but what I do know is that it bothers me. It nags me and keeps me up sometimes and that nagging confuses me. Maybe that means i’m just normal because human beings tend to romanticize the past. I just don’t know and I know now that that’s okay as well.