What do I want?
It’s a question I keep asking myself. I find more and more I keep wondering what I want from my career and the wider world of life.
As someone who has no plans for kids or family beyond, hopefully one day, a loving husband, career will be one of the most important factors in my life. It is part of who I am and how I define myself. I know that in this lifetime I’ll be spending more time with my job than a lot of people, so I want it to be something worthwhile and enjoyable.
Currently working in social media for a fun travel brand is great, and I love it. For the next couple of years at least I know I’ll be happy to stay where I am. But success and ambition are huge driving forces behind everything I do. Perhaps it’s being millennial and the child of consumerist culture, but I thoroughly believe that money is a vital commodity in our lives and, for better or worse, is intrinsically linked to our happiness. I’ve been poor, and I don’t think it’s really possible to be happy without enough money.
I think about my career at the moment and I enjoy what I do. But I think about where my enjoyment lies and I know it’s not in the spreadsheets and analytics reports of a marketing professional. I know that that’s not the career path I want to go down. I feel alive when discovering, researching and creating something new.
Even those words make me feel excited and alive at the thought if embarking on a new and exciting project. I really wish that sometimes that’s what I could do always. If I could just be a columnist for a exciting magazine, like National Geographic, or one of the big London papers. No complications, no politics, no over-analysing data. Just the stories and the words.
What stops me pursuing it, from making the leap from social media editor to writer, is really the thought of the money. I can earn much more money if I join a big marketing agency and use my social media expertise there. Far more money than I could earn working as a writer. Even though I might lo the latter more.
Which way do I go?
What matters more?
Which is more important?
To fulfil a lot of my London dreams I’ll need money. In this city there’s no two ways about it. You need money to survive. Let alone live. I want to own my own place, a nice apartment. I want to be able to afford things I like and be able to live comfortably. Do you try and live the job you love, or pursue the lifestyle you want? What if one is mutually exclusive from the other?
I used to think I was really quite clever and had so much to say. The truth is I’m not, and I don’t. The truth is I’m simple. My words, my pencil, my brushes, my acting. Those are the things I like. When I can live in the swirl and colour and stories of my imagination. When I can get lot in the research of new and exciting places and projects; the history and culture and mystery of it all.
Perhaps I’m living in one of my own fantasies, but I don’t think I’m cut out for the complexities of a career in digital marketing. Truly, there;s nothing more dull than being behind a desk all day. I want to work, I love working. But i need movement and excitement and life. Then, when I can be still again, I need a way to express.
Do I have the talent to be a columnist? I’m not sure. But the more I think about it, the more I know I want writing to be my craft, my passion and my career. I know that I want to be a great editor of a really interesting publication. A writer and recorder of fascinating stories and experiences. When I stop and look at the collection of words in a finished piece, I feel I’ve achieved something, however small. And isn’t that what we live for, to feel inspired and like we’ve achieved? I read other writers’ work, and without being snide or smug I know I could do better, I could weave the words and channel the story with more vibrancy. If someone would let me. If I could find the right opportunity.
I stay thankful or everything I have, but when I look to my future I feel more than a little lost. In some ways I know what I want already. Perhaps I can even see a way to get there.
But will it give me the life I want, or just make me happy?