The other day, I was agonizing over a huge decision. It came out of the blue – I didn’t expect to have to think about this issue at all right now – but here it is, on my doorstep, waiting to be decided.
I had had a meeting with a recruiter, who had contacted me on LinkedIn. He has a job opening in Victoria and quite frankly the job sounds tailor-made for me. It’s part writing, part design. This combination of skills is pretty rare in the digital world, and I’ve never had an employer who wanted to make use of both the word and the visual sides of my brain at one time.
Part of me is jazzed about the opportunity. A secure job with a nice salary, doing what I already know how to do. I wouldn’t have to worry about paying the bills or punting for work or where my next job was coming from… yup, it sounds pretty attractive.
There’s only one small problem.
I have other dreams.
Oh What A Perfect Day
The other day I sat down and did an exercise suggested by Sean Ogle at Location 180: what does your perfect day look like?
Mine went something like this:
Wake up when I want, yoga, shower, breakfast and coffee on the front deck. Sit down to work, outside or in a comfy chair in a small room with bright colours. Spend the next few hours working – writing, designing, and communicating with clients. In the late afternoon I would meet with friends for a bike ride, a swim, or a paddle around the lake. On the way home, I’d stop by the store for fresh ingredients for dinner. Stephen and I would cook together and eat on the deck overlooking the lake.
There’s nothing in there about sitting in an office for eight hours a day, nothing in there about working on other people’s priorities, or spending my energy earning money for someone else. There’s nothing in there about commuting, or office politics, or all the things that go along with a nice well-paid office job.
When I look at it this way, I realize there’s really no decision. I’m sure the job would be great, I’m sure the people there are awesome, I’m sure some other person will be perfect for it. But it’s not right, right now, for me.
The Enemy of Success
I realized that the only thing really drawing me towards a permanent office gig is fear: fear that I can’t make it on my own, fear that I won’t get any clients, fear that no one wants to hire a wickedly talented writer and designer (if I do say so myself).
As I wrestled with this decision, and every time my mind fills with doubts about being my own boss, I keep reminding myself of one thing.
And so my mantra for 2015 is born.
And One Other Thing
Right after I left the recruitment meeting, while I was deeply considering whether to put my name forward for the job, the song Antichrist Television Blues by Arcade Fire came on the car stereo. Ignoring the darker themes of the song, the chorus, which is repeated over and over again throughout, is this:
Don’t wanna work in a building downtown, no I don’t wanna work in a building downtown.
I don’t usually believe in signs, but this one was a good reminder of what I do and don’t want out of life.
What about you? Are you being bold, going after what you really want? Or do you just follow along on the easiest path, hoping it goes somewhere good? ♥