Getting Out of My Own Way

I’m still trying to find my path…

Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a writer.

I am a writer, technically.

I write every day, whether it be only a journal entry, a Medium article, a bit of flash fiction or some work on a novel, I am always writing.

But I’ve never gotten close to the point where writing is my vocation and not just my passion.

I feel like I am constantly being pulled into two directions — toward the writing that I want to make a living out of, and the other jobs that actually help me make a living.

Now, I am at a crossroads.

Almost done with phlebotomy training, I have found myself focusing less on my writing and more on the immediate future I have of resume padding and job searching, and although I know this is the right thing to do for myself and my family right now, the pulling away from writing has me hurting.

Really, actually hurting.

I wonder if I’ve made a huge mistake, in wasting all this time when I could have been doubling down on my writing instead of learning a new profession.

I fear that I will enter the workforce, get a full-time job, and have even less time for the dream that keeps me going in life.

I don’t know who I am if I am not a writer, and I don’t know how I will be a writer and phlebotomist and also homeschooling mom all at once without letting one or two things fall by the wayside.

The sad thing is, I’m thirty-six years old, and still don’t feel like I have anything figured out.

I know what I have to do, but feel like it goes against everything I want to do.

I’m lost on this path, and don’t know which way to turn.

The simple answer seems like I should just relax, and do both things.

There are plenty of people who work full-time jobs and still find the time and energy to get their writing done on the side, but I know I am not good at that.

I know that I experience workforce burnout more than the average gal, and I’m afraid that once I get a job I won’t have the patience and energy to work for anything else.

Because writing is work, not just a dream and a passion.

It takes time, guts, determination and grit to keep on writing when there are so many other things that get in the way, and sometimes I find myself getting in my own damn way, like right now, doubting myself that I can do both and do them both well.

I think the answer is I need to get out of my own damn way and forge whatever path I want, not just the path I think I can have based on the decisions I’ve made so far in life.

Everything can change.

I don’t know what the immediate future holds for me.

I know that getting a full-time job is my first priority because my family needs my support now after years of supporting me.

I’ve been living with my parents for over a year now, and they are suddenly in a bad financial situation that is leaving me no choice but to dive in head first to a new career and be able to really give back.

There’s always a choice, but the choice to do what I have to do to help my family is currently outweighing my choice to stay home and work on my writing full time.

But I shouldn’t despair that my writing dreams will never come to fruition, because things change all the time.

Things won’t always be like this, is something I’ve gotten beaten into my head in therapy, and we’d all do well to remember that when we are feeling down and discouraged with where we are on our paths.

Starting a new career isn’t the end of my writing.

It’s just the beginning of something new, a new fork in the path, and I have to get out of my own way and let myself embrace the opportunities that I have ahead of me rather than dwell on the time I’m giving up to work on my dreams.

My dream of being a full-time writer will always be with me.

I will always be a writer, no matter what else I am.

But it’s time to step onto a new path and embrace the future, whatever it may happen to bring.