This week I turned 35. A long-time lover of birthdays (and any days really involving presents and prosecco), I still found it tough to get into the celebratory mood. 35 just seems too bloody old! I think what makes it that much harder is the fact that I still haven’t achieved anything wildly exciting in my professional life. I have switched careers on a few occasions and never really felt fully fulfilled in any of them. Finally I found the courage to go after what I really want – to be a writer. I have always, always loved writing but a big ton of Fear just stopped me from ever pursuing it. I think I believed that if I never tried than I could never fail and so I was, therefore, safe from being a ‘failure’. But this is no way to live. So during my 34th year I decided to take my courage in both hands and just ‘be’ a freelance journalist.
There has been a lot (a lot) of rejection but there have been mini victories too. This month I had my first article published in a well respected parenting magazine and for me that was a big moment. It isn’t easy; pursuing your dream. There have been many days when I have longed to just give up. It seems easier than actually facing more rejections – or worse still silence when you have poured your heart into creating a good pitch. But the alternative, I believe, would be worse. Never taking a chance. Never giving it a shot. Never knowing if I could have succeeded.
Each day there is fresh hope that today is the day somebody notices my work and champions my writing. That is what keeps me going. And, perhaps, 35 will be the year I finally feel a sense of professional satisfaction.