I'm at a Crossroads

Photo courtesy of Dixon-Drone Photography. www.dixondrone.com

So much has happened in my life over the past couple of years that when I take a minute to reflect on it, I'm blown away by it all. In 2016, wanting to be more active and meet more like-minded people, I got involved in a couple of organizations that I felt passionate about. At that time, I could never have imagined just how far they would take me. And take me they have. To me, it's reminiscent of listening to Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King, where a quiet and slow start builds up into a loud and fast ending. While nothing has reached its prestissimo finale by any means, it's definitely reached a low crescendo. It's this crescendo that I'm looking at now and it's made me realize just how much my life has changed in two years. I'm standing at a crossroads now, and there are four roads surrounding me.

The road behind me is the one I've already traveled. 

I've known this road since I was a child. It's familiar, easy, and comfortable like an old friend, but it's also a dead end. What's done is done and cannot be undone. It's now a road of memories that run the gamut from happy, sad, angry, frustrated, and scared to everything in between. This road is filled with family vacations to my great uncle's house on a lake in Minnesota, my high school graduation, my first heartbreak, my first move away from my hometown, the birth of my children, writing my first book, and my first trip overseas. All of my weaknesses and strengths and all of my failures and triumphs are back there along this road.

The road in front of me is sure and steady.

This is the road I'm currently on. It's my job, my family, my home, my city, my friends, and the life I'm living. While changes do, and will, occur, it's a pretty steady life of living pretty much the same existence into the foreseeable future. It's safe, secure, acceptable, and fairly predictable. There's nothing wrong with staying on this road, but with my adventurous spirit, a never-ending desire for variety, and a passion to live life with more meaning, it's not exactly the road I want to stay on. In other words, while it's a good road where I can still carve out the life I want here and there, it wouldn't be satisfying for me long-term.

The road to my right is my writing career.

This road leads me to my preferred destination: a successful writing career. This is the road I want to take more than anything in this world. This is my dream, my passion, and my biggest hope. This road lets me make a career and a life out of doing what I love most while, at the same time, giving me the freedom to be my own boss, do what I want to do, and live the life I choose. I've been working hard and diligently for the last four years learning how to drive down this road and that won't change anytime soon. Currently, it runs parallel to the road in front of me, but I hope with all my heart that that changes.

The road to my left is one of the organizations I'm involved with.

I started with this organization, casually, in late 2016. By the spring of 2017, my involvement was more committed and we began planning a big event in earnest. Fast forward to last month when the event happened and it was everything we had hoped it would be and more. It was successful enough, in fact, that it's quickly becoming a viable career option for me. While this is fresh, exciting, and new, it also comes with risks - a fact that is not lost on me. The pay isn't great, no benefits, and there's the very real possibility the organization might not make it. If, however, the organization does become successful and grows with the momentum we've built, then I have a good position with great pay, numerous opportunities, regular travel all over the country, and a chance to make a difference in ways that are important to me. It's the adventure and excitement I crave all rolled into a career with meaning.

I'm standing at a crossroads.

I'm being pulled in three directions. One, my writing career, can be continued and done while I work - something that has been, and is, my reality for now. Until it becomes successful enough to support me, I have to work a real job. However, I'm not sure which job that should be. My regular job provides stability and benefits, but not much in the way of great pay or advancement. The organization doesn't provide stability nor benefits (at least not for now), but I've already advanced twice and it has the potential to be a great paying job if it becomes successful enough. My real dilemma then, is which job do I decide on? It's a conundrum that I've been struggling with for the past few weeks and will continue to struggle with until I can decide.

What do you think? What would you do if you were in my shoes? Let me know in the comments.


Popular Posts