Moving Forward vs. Running Away

Continuing on from last week, here is another excerpt from the upcoming second Curing Someday Syndrome workshop: I’ll Get Around To It Someday. This week we look at how the choices I made at the time had very little to do with what I actually wanted out of life.

In 1999 when I’d decided I’d been in my job long enough, I started looking for new work. I learned, however, that there were few middle-management jobs in the non-profit world and in the fours years I spent looking for work, I only ever had one interview. I ended up feeling trapped, forced into a job I no longer wanted.

At the same time, the writing group I belonged to was beginning to depress me. The group had a focus on literary fiction and I was writing fantasy. More and more I found myself writing what I thought they wanted, rather than I wanted.

Again I felt trapped, so I left the group and I abandoned writing. I felt that if writing was about changing yourself for others than I had no choice but to give it up.

By 2002, I had situational depression. I hated my life but didn’t think I had any options. I felt I had no marketable job skills and nothing outside of my job was making up for the unhappiness there.
Then I discovered the field of Professional Organizing. I didn’t need to look at my resume to know that all of my non-marketable skills totally fit the description of an organizer, so I took the leap and in July of 2003, opened my own business.

For the next three years I acted like I’d found my calling, but deep down I felt like a fraud. I did all the right things. I joined the industry’s association and got involved in governing it. I networked, got coaching, had business planners, and built up a newsletter and client base, but I still wasn’t writing.

I thought I was making conscious choices about my life, but I wasn’t. I was acting based on a list in my head of things that I needed to do to support myself so that I could eventually get back to writing. It was all a means to an end.

It was all a to-do list without a whole lot of desire behind it.

Someday Lesson:

  • Making conscious choices means moving toward a dream, not running from a nightmare.

P.S. Learn to make conscious choices with the Someday My Ship Will Come In eWorkshop – available free for a short time.

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6 thoughts on “Moving Forward vs. Running Away

  1. Sal says:

    Alex, I can totally agree with this. I felt the same way before I started writing. Like there was something more that I should be doing, something that I was good at, but not acknowledging, sorta like an illigetimate child. Now that I am it feels great and I can’t wait to really get up and running and see how far this rabbit hole goes.

    Sal´s last blog post..Parenting Poverty

  2. steph says:

    This sounds too painfully like my situation now. Ugh. I’m so glad I have your workshop.

    Thanks, Alex.

    steph´s last blog post..Lessons in Literature

  3. Mike Goad says:

    “Making conscious choices means moving toward a dream, not running from a nightmare.”

    By the time my job became a nightmare, I was too close to my dream to leave. So I chose to stay and deal with the nightmare until I could leave with my savings and a monthly check.

    While I enjoy writing, I never desired to pursue it as a vocation. To be successful requires too much hard work and imagination. 😉

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..Images of Petit Jean

  4. I can relate to this. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep our heads down and go through the motions. Thank God that often that strategy implodes and we are jarred awake. Too often I’ve waited for the jarring to wakeup. Like you say, conscious choice is a much better way.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Got It?

  5. Alex

    You could be talking about me 100%. I make commitments all the time to focus on my creative writing, but somehow or another I always get waylaid by copy writing for money, by my blog, by my kid (that’s okay, though still frustrating at times) or by my ego. My ego says I need a successful career. That even though I am able to be a mom and write only, that somehow it’s not enough. I need to do more. And I think it really stems from not seeing creative writing as a valid choice to focus my energies. As something that can’t be a career. So In look for a “proper” one instead, but of course I never find it.

    So glad I’m starting your Someday My Ship Will Come In workshop.


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