“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you implement that effort into your life. Every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs. Keep going. Remember why you started.” ~ Anonymous
Once upon a time there was a middle-aged woman who got tired of working in bars or in retail. She was excellent at customer service, but had been in it so long that she had come to hate sales. Writing for herself or keeping a journal was her way of staying sane throughout, but there came a point where it was just not enough to save her. So she decided to make an enormous change in her life. This woman had never graduated high school – she had dropped out to get married and have babies. Eighteen years later, she was at the point where this story begins, and she decided to try to get her GED and then go to college, in the hopes that, after attaining a degree, she might never have to work in a bar or in retail sales ever again.
The path she chose was not an easy one. Eighteen years out of school meant that her understanding of math had reduced to that of a modern-day sixth-grader. She had to take nine weeks of GED courses before she could pass the test, but pass, she did! Three weeks later, she began college. It would take her five whole years to get her bachelor’s degree, in part because she had to start at the bottom with math, and partially because of a spinal injury in her third year. Still, she did not give up. After her injury, she turned to online courses, and two years later, she graduated. But suddenly, here she was in a place where she didn’t know quite what to do.
For the previous five years, college had told her what was coming next. She always knew which courses she would be taking the following semester; she always knew whether she would be in school the following term. Suddenly, with her degree in hand, she knew nothing about what lay ahead, and this not-knowing terrified her. She froze; unable to apply for jobs, unable to determine what to do, now. She stood on the edge of the cliff and looked down into the chasm. Not knowing where the invisible bridge was, she tentatively stuck a toe out over the void every few feet along the cliff edge to feel for it.
Two months after achieving her degree, she felt what might be solid ground when she reached out from the edge with her toe. Waving her English Writing bachelor’s degree all around her for balance, she took a single step out onto the bridge of freelance writing and stood there over the chasm, looking around and wondering if the bridge might suddenly terminate and whether she might have to run back to the cliff edge. She sat down for a moment and scribbled a few blog posts, watched a few instructional Youtube videos about freelancing, made one friend through social media who was already doing it, and wondered if she would make it. I suppose that next is the need to create a website and writer’s portfolio, she thought hopefully, and she gazed off into her future, hoping for work – in-house or freelance, she did not care, as long as she was able to work with words.
© The Fairy Tale Garden 2019
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