April 30th was the commencement date, if I was to set a starting point for this journey. It seemed that I’d reached a crossroads inside myself, not only creatively, but in the direction I perceived life to be heading. Some might label it a mid-life crisis, of sorts, and that very well may be accurate. When I walked away from my job, the excuses I used were numerous, but I don’t believe I ever gave voice to the deeper thoughts and feelings I experienced.
I have always been passionate about writing, and from the opinion of others – both professional and the more casual observations – I’m skilled at it. I have imagined that by this time in my life, such a career as a published author would be a given.
Obviously, that has not yet manifested.
During the downtime I acquired by leaving my soul-draining government job, I have thought this through more times than I care to recount. Having processed all the possibilities that I could come up with, I’m beginning to think that perhaps personal success is something that I continue to sabotage.
It’s funny, in the “queer” definition of the word and not the humorous one, that I felt that I had my career so well in hand that I could coach others on their road to success. While it’s true that I had the knowledge to help guide those who came to me, inside I had plateaued in some fundamental way, to the point where the passion for my chosen craft had begun to wilt. No matter how many books or how much research I did on the subject, the truth was that I had somehow failed to perform the necessary and deeper inner work required to keep me on my path.
Not all wisdom comes from books.
And there are certain things for which a book or online research simply cannot help. I tend to intellectualize the world around me, a fact which was spotlighted for me recently in a conversation with a dear friend. She is a “heart first/head second” person, and we talked about how she feels strongly about things long before the thought enters her head, that she seems to operate without a filter that might keep her from expressing herself emotionally. We agreed that I tend to have the thought first, and if there’s an emotion that might accompany that, I must first think it through before allowing it to be expressed. This may be both a blessing and curse.
As the months have progressed and I thought myself to be no nearer to a solution, or even in the neighborhood of being able to coach myself, I reached out. There are times when even the most self-assured person must ask for assistance. So I turned to one of my mentors in a way that forced me to humble myself and open myself to the guidance of another.
Knowing that not every teacher can teach himself, I have acquired a coach to guide me through the tough decisions and the heavy lifting that will surely be required to reach fulfillment on this matter.
So I have given myself over to this external guidance with optimism and faith and with a strong willingness to do the work needed.