Occupation: Read and Write

Some kids dream big, some kids don’t, I definitely was one of the kids that didn’t. My world was my room and a stack of books about anything and everything. I lived through written words and that was really all I ever wanted to do, read and write. While the neighbour kids played football in the park or met at the local swimming pool, I was at home with my nose in a book at any time during the day or night. I felt no hunger or sleep when I was reading, but I felt a never-ending thirst for written words. I had no need to explore the world, I had no need to venture, all my adventures were taking place in the safety and comfort of my own four walls…

It’s odd really, words are so powerful when spoken, but I believe that they’re even more powerful when written. Written words can mess with your brain, because you read into them whatever emotion you want them to have. If you’re feeling happy, whatever words you may read may be happy words, if you’re mysterious, that’s the meaning they will carry. Simple as that. Written words were my escape and my sanctuary at the same time. So it may not come as a surprise that all I ever wanted out of a career was being able to read and write.

You may think this trivial, we all read and write all the time, you’re reading this right now as you’re maybe tweeting something, that’s not a career, or is it? But for me, it always was. For as long as I can remember that dream seemed just barely out of reach. It was always right there and yet never really. You’d think that this would have discouraged me, but honestly I needed it to be just that, barely out of reach. It makes the next part of this story all the more exciting.

Eventually, I learnt that the world is more than words in books. There is colors and smells, there is experiences, there is thrill and excitement and of course, there is travelling. I learnt that written words can only spark your imagination so much, but that inspiration and a full life comes from living every second like it is your last. Over the past ten years I learnt a lot about the world and I learnt a lot about myself but most importantly I learnt two things:  1. You’re never done learning and 2. reading and writing can be a career.

The past year has been a rollercoaster of hardship and amazement at the same time. I was – more than ever – wallowing in career pain for a career that I felt I never really had. I received many written words (or emails as some people may call it) and all I read between the imaginary lines was that I wasn’t good enough, that I will never be good enough, and that no matter how hard I try, I will always be a failure and that reading and writing may just not be for me. I felt cheated  for never having gotten a chance and heartbroken for a future that slowly disappeared. I ugly-cried many times trying to make sense of it all. Meanwhile, the sane part of my brain told me to give up, that all of these feelings weren’t worth the career that I so badly craved. But the dreamer in me, the one that couldn’t imagine a bigger world than the written one, just couldn’t bring herself to close this chapter just yet.

And it’s a good thing that I’m not the *best* listener, because if I did listen, I would never be able to embark on this next amazing adventure.  I’ve been going through a mental boot camp, making endless to-do-lists, endless worry lists and endlessly pinching myself because believe it or not, I landed my dream-job, where all I will have to do is read and write (among other things).

The moral of this is that you can’t always get what you wish for, sometimes you will have to go through tough times and sometimes it won’t seem like it’s worth it, but if you find something that you really want to do, then why not go all in? I always had a plan B for everything but when it came to my career, to what I want to do for the rest of my life, there was no space for plan B. It may seem simple, reading and writing, painting, acting… It may seem like a crazy idea and chances are that it really is crazy, but then again, why not?

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