The older I get, the more impatient I feel. I will be fifty in a few years (not that many actually) and I feel like time is running out. I want to get on with it. I want my dream life to kick off. When will it? Or will I look back and this IS it? This is the DREAM?
I think part of it is that I spent a good part of my working life in an agency. This agency was okay (no hang on Anniki, sometimes it was awful) but it wasn't ultimately what I wanted to do. I envied people who knew from childhood the career they wanted. My career trajectory was random. I studied Media (in the hope that I'd work in TV but my motivation was very trite- I basically thought it looked glamorous and I'd meet lots of interesting people). A year after graduating and after doing several jobs as a runner (and earning £5 a week), I realised that I could only really work in TV if I had a wealthy family. The posh people tended to do well and those with less resource had to give up. The jobs paid very badly and the hours were long. I became more pragmatic. I saw an advert in The Guardian for a market research role.
I had zero understanding of that that meant but decided to go for it anyway.
A month or two later I was working in a company based in Chiswick. It was small, fun and there was lots of travel. Anyway to cut a LONG story short, the environment didn't stay fun and the travel began to wear thin. It got busy and very stressful. I developed a habit of chucking painkillers down my neck to survive everyday. I started writing and I spent my Sunday afternoons hunched over a laptop. I usually spent the whole day doing this and would emerge Sunday evening refreshed. I was in my mid-thirties now but had finally found the thing I enjoyed (there were other things too of course like shopping and eating and watching bands but the meaningful thing, the thing that you were supposed to know about from the start of your life).
I had faith that the universe would support me in my endeavours and I would get an agent, get my book published and retire from the world of market research. I would live in luxury with lots of time on my hands and would be like Roald Dahl- with my own writing shed and a servant/partner who bought me bowls of soup and glasses of wine and made sure the house was running so I could focus on writing brilliant novels. I would write a lot of novels and eventually people would make a documentary about how talented I was, what a complete genius I was and how nice and kind I was too (I've always wanted to be liked- it's sad but true).
I was bitterly disappointed to discover a) it's fucking hard to get an agent b) it's fucking hard to get a publishing deal. I wrote three, maybe four books (one was truly pants) and sent off my letters and three chapters and got rejected every time. I continued my day job. I started to feel moody. Then I got sucked into a wormhole of trying to have a baby and this went on for four years or more and then I had the baby and got sucked into a wormhole of being a Mum and I was made redundant from my market research job.
Now two years later I firmly believe that I KNOW what I'm good at. I know what I enjoy too. Sure I have all those market research skills and will use them to my best ability BUT it's writing that makes me forget all sense of time, it's the thing that I think about late at night, it's my passion. Now my main frustration is that despite having a great agent, a publishing deal- two books out, I still feel like I'm standing still. It's not just the fact that the financial rewards haven't quite been there (this was something I was sort of prepared for having spoken to other published writers) but it's also the fact that I am prevented from doing the thing I love because of the lack of these financial rewards.
I am finding it hard not to get jealous of writers who seem to be nailing it and getting loads of wonga so can therefore focus fully on writing and nothing else. I am trying to stay positive and have even started investigating crystals (which are basically bollocks as far as I can tell). I'm not sure what the next step in terms of moving closer to my dreams and am feeling increasingly weary (it's also having a ten month baby, a six year old and half a day of childcare each week).
There is one kind of frustration that comes from NOT knowing what you want from your life (I have friends who are driven mad by their lack of direction and just want to find the thing they love and get on with it). There is another that stems from KNOWING what you want but fearing you'll never be successful doing it. By successful I mean SUPPORTING your family, having enough money to do cool stuff, feeling like you aren't worrying from month to month about finances.
What's the solution? Well there isn't one is there? Basically you have to keep plugging away. Also trying not to look at social media too much and remembering that your time will come. And if it makes you feel any better push a crystal in your bra.
I know things will happen eventually. Let's just use the present tense and say - IT'S HAPPENING.
There isn't an alternative path for any of us - we have to believe.
So it's happening. Right now and soon.
It really is.