As I sit at my computer in the early days of a new year, I think back on the past fourteen of my adult life and the eighteen that came before that and wonder why I haven’t done any of the things I had planned back then. As a teenager, I had a buffet of options before me and wanted to pursue them all. Sailor, police officer, lawyer, writer, engineer, and even accountant (boring as it seems, I like dealing with numbers).
Endless possibilities, with endless potential. After all, I’m intelligent and motivated. Why shouldn’t I be the master of my own destiny? The fates would bow before me knowing that I was in full control and they had no say in the matter. The only trouble is that my control was not coupled with the focus required to take my place as a man of absolute authority over my realm.
Now, at thirty-two, I deliver pizza for a living. A mild physical disability held me back from the first two careers and prioritizing work over school has led to me only completing one semester of college in all this time which holds me back from three of the others.
There’s one of those old goals, however, that I can pursue despite my minor physical and educational impairments, and that’s writing. The only thing that has held me back from writing is my inability to finish ‘the great American novel’. Today I’ve considered a solution to that. I just need to do something. Rather than trying to write an opus and losing my patience for it a few chapters in, I’ll write this blog; just a little bit of writing to do here and there. As I do so, I’ll theoretically become a better writer and as I become a better writer I may find the ability to write something worthy of publishing, and then I can consider myself to have become a writer.
It seems to me that I, and many of my generation, have never learned how to turn goals into plans, or how to commence with putting those plans into action. We simply drift along from one dead-end job to another waiting for the perfect circumstances to come along before we seize the opportunity to pursue our passion. Some of us don’t even know what our passion is. We simply have a number of things we’d really like to try, but never even do that because the circumstances aren’t right. They never will be. You’ve got to make your circumstances rather than waiting for them to happen to you. That’s what I’m doing here.
I don’t know that anyone will ever read this. It’s not even really intended for public consumption. It’s more of a method to practice, and become proficient at, my chosen profession so that I may one day actually make it my profession, rather than simply being a lofty goal I’ve held for years without ever acting upon it. The value of posting it online comes from the fact that someone might read it. If anyone does, I’ve got to be sure it’s good. This is what makes it practice at professional writing, rather than simply keeping a journal, which is a worthy pursuit, but not something in which I can maintain an interest.
For anyone out there who decides to follow me on this journey, I’ll warn you that the subject matter is likely to vary drastically from one entry to the next. I’ll likely be writing about my efforts to become a better man, my political views, my thoughts on religion, and sometimes it may just be a random rant on how much of a dick my boss is. I plan to keep doing it, though, and if you plan to keep reading it, I’ll be happy for your feedback.
So this is my project for 2015. I’ll write a little bit every week and see where it takes me. Just to do something. With any luck, my project for 2016 will be to write that book. For my potential readers, who may be stuck in dead-end jobs looking for a way out, I urge you to do the same. I’m not necessarily suggesting you start a blog as I’m doing. After all, writing isn’t for everyone, and for all I know it may not even be for me. But any little thing to move beyond your current situation
Just do something.