Getting to the Point of No Return

Fulfillment simply depends on making up your mind.

Image by Frank McKenna

I shouldn’t even be writing this right now. What I should be doing is stepping into a high school with a shirt and tie underneath a grey pullover sweater, walking into my classroom of 30 to begin teaching the day’s lesson.

That was the plan, and on a sweaty September morning in 2012, I was ready to commit to my future as a teacher. That would’ve been my first day of Teacher’s College, which is the final educational step needed to officially call the classroom your home here in Toronto.

But I didn’t go. I woke up, brushed my teeth, showered, changed, and just sat on my bed. I thought about my future. I thought about where I wanted to be and, much more importantly, I thought about what would truly make me happy.

“I don’t want to do this,” I said to myself. “This is not who I am.”

So I didn’t. Just like that, I made the decision that I would forever put to rest the thought of becoming a teacher and go full steam ahead with my writing. That was the biggest turning point of my career and one of the most important decisions of my life.

I made up my mind that no matter what obstacles get in the way, no matter how broke I was or how difficult things got, I would pursue my goal of becoming a full-time writer. That day was my point of no return.

It’s no accident that a few months later I was able to drop my part-time job, the last 9–5 type job I ever worked. It’s certainly no accident that a year after that, I finally published my first novella. One by one, all of the aspirations I had in my mind literally became reality. And it was happening quickly.

It all started on that morning. Not to discredit anything I’d done before that. All the work I put in blogging, working on my first book, writing for anyone who made me an offer, it all helped me get to where I am now. But it wasn’t till I made it clear in my own mind, till I made a distinct decision that this was my only path, it wasn’t till then that I was unburdened with the weight of indecision and truly felt like I was free to be myself.

Before that morning, decisions were a struggle. Am I putting enough time into this writing thing? Maybe I’m putting in too much time. Do I really think I’m going to be able to just sit at home and write all day? Who does that? How am I going to take care of my daughter if I’m not making any real money?

All of these questions plagued me daily. It left me fractured and without any clear sense of direction. The internal battle of whether I should keep passing up these “secure” jobs, good paying jobs, just so I could keep writing was wearing on me. It was like the world was telling me one thing, and my heart telling me something completely different. I chose to go with my heart.

The thing is, you can’t really get to where you’re going without knowing where you want to be. And knowing where you want to be takes knowing who you are. And knowing who you are, who you truly are, takes answering some difficult questions and making some even tougher choices. You have to be honest with your self, blatantly honest, and only then can you feel free enough to choose your path without any regret and without letting anything stop you.

Now here I am. All of the questions that haunted me have been answered. Yes, I can sit down at home and write all day. Yes, I make enough money to take care of my daughter on my own. And yes, I am more fulfilled now than I’ve ever been in my life and that I would’ve been pursuing anything else.

I encourage everyone to find your own point of no return. I push you to make that final decision to be yourself. Once you are able to make peace in your mind with who you are, nothing can stand in your way.