Hey – remember that time I did that crazy mid-life, corner-turning, dream-chasing 180 degree career shift into what I hoped could be a shiny new creative beginning in TV writing land? You’ve probably been wondering how it’s going.
The short answer is, I had a look behind that particular curtain and decided it wasn’t for me. It’s not that I saw anything so shockingly unexpected but I realized full immersion was not the way to go for me. I mean, just because I know how sausage is made doesn’t mean I want to make a career of extruding ground meat into sheep intestines.
So I quietly slid that curtain back into place and came home to the public service.
It’s funny because people at work still come up to me, (and we’re talking more than a year since I’ve been back – and TWO years since I left in the first place) and will be like, “hey, did you go somewhere? I heard you did a thing.” Which, on one hand, is pretty humbling because apparently my presence/absence is barely noticeable. But on the other hand, it’s also somewhat comforting because even though I sometimes feel like ending the experiment and coming home was a failure, when I talk about it, people don’t say “well, I see you couldn’t make that work.” I mean, maybe they think it a little but they say things like “it’s amazing that you did that” and “I want to hear about that” and even, a couple of times, “that inspired me to try a thing, too.”
And in addition to being preeeetttyyyy inspirational to others, trying out this radical thing broke my ideas about what was possible for me. That’s what happens whenever we try new, big, hard things. However they work out, they bring your sense of possibility to a nearer horizon, one that is within your reach. My shift to a full time TV career didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped but that’s not the point. I tried it out, and learned a metric shit tonne (that’s like a regular tonne, only related to emotional growth) and I came back a better, smarter, more committed, clearer human being. I’m a better public servant. I’m a way better writer. I did a hard thing. I can do other hard things. I can write and publish and learn things. I can be brave and make art and be happy.
And you can too.