This has always been a favorite quote of mine; I love Fitzgerald’s writing. It takes me to a different place and time. I imagine myself there in the 20’s sitting at a cafe in Paris hanging out with the writers of that time. It was a time of no real worry, just good fun.
As you know, I have always wanted to be a writer. To sit day after day putting my thoughts down on paper and then putting it out into the world. But fear always held me back. What if I wasn’t any good? What if nobody read anything I wrote? What if I were criticized for being a horrible hack? This mindset kept me from pursuing something I love. It held me back from my destiny.
With these thoughts swirling around in my head, I went on to other jobs. Some I loved and some I hated. I spent a great deal of time in the hospitality industry. I loved it, because I love being around people and I was actually good at it. So, I stayed, first in hotels and then in restaurants. But I got restless, wanting to do more, be more.
I would read a lot and I would dream as I occasionally put my thoughts into a notebook. What would it be like to actually do it? To try my hand at the one thing that felt 100% in sync with me…writer. But I held back. I was hitting my 30’s, 40’s and even got to the big 50. It was too late for me I thought, I should just stay in my lane and keep doing the job. It didn’t matter if I was miserable and complained every day…just keep going, a lot of people are unhappy in their work, who was I to go against the grain?
Then this quote came back to me again and I finally got it. I was just the person to stand up and switch my direction, to swerve out of my path and curve around the bend as the squiggle line that I am. I do have the strength to start all over again. This time doing something I love. So, I began by starting this blog. I took the chance, made the big leap over my fears and hit the publish button for the first time. And people came, read and stayed to read more. First just family and friends, but then others. It is exciting every time I see a new reader show up and subscribe, it means they like what they see and want to see more. It means I was correct in my choice. It is now time to expand the writer by sending out feelers to other venues both fiction and non-fiction. To keep the momentum going and see what is out there for me.
What about you? Is there anything you have always dreamed of being? Can you start over again like Fitzgerald says we can? Can you do now what you always hoped to do? Maybe you can’t change your career and become a professional dancer or athlete, but how about dance class or a community sports league. Always wanted to act? There are little theater troupes all over the place. Painter? Maybe buy some paint and brushes and create at home. The point of all this might not be to change everything like I did, but to add back in the thing you have always loved but never thought you could do. Whether it be big or small, do it. It’s never or now. Choose the now.
***Question for the comments…What did you always want to do that you never got around to? Was it dance, sports, writing, painting, designing clothes, musician? How can you incorporate that into your life today? No matter how big or small.
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