I got to thinking about our calling in life – doing what you want to do because you truly love it. Not for any other reason but for the satisfaction you get from doing something you love. And I realised that anyone that can achieve this in their lives is free.
Let me elaborate a little. You are brought up loving music, so you become a music producer or someone that sells music in a store or a musician. You love mathematics, so you decide to become a statistician or a Math teacher teaching what you love to others. You are a writer, so you become a journalist, a fiction writer, a poet. This is how you live a life of freedom.
You will never feel the “shackles” of doing a job you do not like or even appreciate. You will never have to feel like your future is controlled by someone else. Even if you have someone “above” you in some sort of hierarchy, if you do what you love the most, these things become almost insignificant.
But the journey can change you. I have experienced many of these sorts of “freedoms” in my life thus far. I was a freelance journalist at one point. I ended up having a breakdown when I was working in the IT industry in a managerial role. I became so disillusioned with the career that I became a frustrated and angry person. I needed out, and I needed out quickly before any further damage was done. So I up and left a job that was paying extremely well to become a freelance writer. I had already done the groundwork, so I had the qualification to show people I was legitimate, but I did nothing with it. So when I experienced this “breakdown”, I decided to do something that I loved to do, writing.
My partner supported me through it, and I can honestly say that I was probably at my happiest ever in a job for the years that followed. I was truly free to do whatever I wanted, and I did. I started my own freelancing business as an entertainment writer/ reviewer, and I consulted for businesses overseas. It was a wonderful time. But nothing lasts forever. I became weary of spending most of my days looking for work and hustling every angle to get paid to write. I guess you could say I gave up on wanting to do that. So, in a way, I gave up on myself. But I got to taste what it was like to be my own boss and do my own thing, and for that, I will always be grateful.
But this is the thing, as a person you are made of many layers. For me, the writing was just one of those layers. I also had a love for technology and computers. So I was being pulled in various directions and decided to go back to the IT industry (which is where I am now). The job I have has many rewards, such as working from home, which I’ve always wanted to do. I look upon these things as privileges. Many people I know can’t work from home, not even in a world fighting through a pandemic. But I get to do this every day. I am not in management. Thankfully. I do believe that while I may have had some attributes needed to be a leader of people, I was not in it with my heart. And ultimately, this is what is needed to go from calling a job just a job instead of something you love to do.
So now, what layers am I showing? I am writing more than I ever have. I have the pandemic to thank for that. When I felt like things were beginning to look grim, I took comfort in writing. I started a new blog (three of them now), I created a journal which I hadn’t done in many years, and I am slowly moving back towards writing about the entertainment industry again. I have my first Sundance screener to watch this weekend, and I am over-the-moon happy. I’m not getting paid to do this, not yet. But nobody knows what is waiting just around the corner. This is the part of living that is exciting. Not knowing can be scary, but it can also be incredibly motivational.
So what is your freedom? What “layers” do you have that makes you unique? How do you expose these layers to the world? Let me know in the comments, dear writers?