Have you ever felt lost, and floundering, and so utterly empty?
Have you ever felt that life could be so much better - that you were meant for more than what you are doing at this moment?
That was me, for all my life up until a couple of years ago. I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know who I was or why I even existed. I had no idea where the hell I was supposed to be.
It may seem trivial to some, but it was a big deal for me. It was the source of incredible anxiety and, though it might sound a tad dramatic, even despair. I know that many people don't or won't understand what it's like to have no direction in life. From personal experience, it's hell.
I didn't want to get up in the mornings. I didn't want to eat, or I wanted to eat myself into oblivion. I was so incredibly empty. Nothing felt right. Nothing was true.
I had always written creatively, but I never thought that I'd ever be a novellist. I went through phases of career choices, none of them writing. I actually fought against writing as a career choice. I graduated university with a considerable amount of debt, and so sought out a job, any job, just so I could pay my bills. It turned out to be the world's crappiest job - baby-sitting a 40 year old toddler who continually bounced my pay-cheques.
I started writing as a way of escape - throwing myself into a world other than the one I was inhabiting. It was really at the story's insistence that I did it, but the way I felt about life in general made it incredibly easy to do. One day I decided that I would pursue this seriously.
It was as if the sun had come out for the first day since I can remember. Life wasn't a drudgery anymore. I'd get excited to wake up and vanish into my 'other' world for the day. I was energised and mobilised. When I started writing seriously, good things started happening.
I lost my job (not the best, financially speaking, though I didn't have to worry about what bounced cheques did to my credit score anymore) which freed me up from a lot of bottled-in anger towards my employer. I didn't have to hide it anymore. I could be angry at him and not worry. More to the point, I didn't have to deal with him anymore. Though I was worried about my financial future, I was also incredibly relieved to be out of there. I later found a job that paid the same (and now pays a little more) where I wasn't nearly so stressed out, and where the pay-cheques never bounced. I'm still there. I rather like it.
Not long after finding my new, improved job, I lost my apartment. My landlords were expecting a child and so requested I move out to give them some space. I wasn't angry about that, though I did spend a lot of time stressed out of my mind. I had some terrible experiences with flatmates in the past, and I was determined to never live with anyone EVER again. As it turned out, I had no choice whatsoever (no, seriously... no choice at all). I, through no fault of my own, moved in with a friend of a friend.
It turned out to be the best thing that could have happened (for living arrangements). My flatmate is simply awesome. We get along really well.
Since I started writing, life has never been better. I feel complete.
There is a moral to this very long tale. That is this:
Explore your world, and yourself and follow your heart fearlessly. If you want to be a carpenter, be a carpenter. If you want to be a singer, be a singer. If you want to be a stockbroker, be a stockbroker.
When you walk your path, the world opens up for you.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy. Like all things, it takes hard work. However, you will find that, even if you don't quite make it in the end, the trying is worth it.
I am no longer lost and floundering. I've found my path. You can find yours.