In Pursuit of Passion... the tug of war prevails.
So, I was reading an article today by @kenechukwu97 called The Dilemma of Job Hunters. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favour, and go and check it out. He discusses the dilemma between choosing a job that pays well but doesn't align with one's career goals, and one that aligns but doesn't pay nearly enough as the former. It's an interesting read. His example that he used was in describing people who were:
okay working as an Accountant instead of practising as a lawyer
as the money being earned was more.
Oh my goodness. I had to lol ... I studied Law and English Lit at University, and
ended up am currently an accountant!!!🤣 The former two were my academic passions, the latter...meh...where I ended up ...a long and winding story...
Long story short...I graduated in South Africa after 5 years at University with two degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Law and English Lit majors) followed by an Honours Degree in Law (LLB). At the time, only 5% of law graduates were getting articles (internships). One of my best friends at Uni told me, after one interview I had with a law firm, when we were discussing the questions they had asked and the answers I had given,
You are way too ethical to be a lawyer, Sam
People laugh about lawyers and ethics but that comment was bitter-sweet and hurt, but not in the way that you may think. You see, it made me quite sad that he was being dead serious. It was a commentary of and for our times and a sad indictment of the state of affairs in the field of law. Anyway, I didn't get offered any of the available positions that I had applied for and, as I did not want to join the public prosecutor's office, I took a job in commerce instead, in a legal department in a major bank.
I was fast-tracked and within 2 years ended up supervising a small legal administrative team.
We had a Christmas cocktail party for our external solicitors who actually did our legal work for us and I was then offered the opportunity to do my Articles of Law (Internship) by 3 partners at 3 different Law firms, "if I could be persuaded to leave the bank and to go back into law proper". Turns out ironically they all really appreciated my work ethic and general ethics and values that were evident in the professional relationships that I conducted with them.
My interest was definitely piqued! BUT, here's the rub...they couldn't afford me... I could no longer afford to take a 70% pay cut to follow what had been my passion and dream for years. 😢 @kenechukwu97 was spot on! Even with the numbers!
Anyway, 3 years later I moved to the UK with my husband, and thought, now is the time to make the change back into law. Now is my chance, as I am effectively unemployed anyway lol. So I got a job in a small start-up Telco that agreed to sponsor my Legal studies so that I could convert my degree to an English (British) qualification. This was necessary as South African law is based on Roman-Dutch law and English Law is based on ...well English Law haha.
So, I tried to go down the route of converting my law degree so that I could qualify and work as a solicitor in the UK... after 1 year at Uni part-time, whilst working a day job in the Telco's finance department, the University moved the goalposts, requiring me to study full time for the next 2 years to finish the conversion. Again...I couldn't afford to do that. Not yet having my citizenship, I either had to pay foreign rates myself or continue under company sponsorship and I couldn't work full-time and study full-time. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and it was incredibly frustrating and demoralising.
And so, with seemingly little choice, I gave up on the dream and became an accountant as that was the field I was in at the time whilst I was studying. It brought in the maloola.
This involved a number of years of late nights, hectic studying, and lectures to pass 14 exams to obtain my ACCA qualification which is the equivalent of a Master's degree. Fast forward to the present and I am now a Certified Chartered Accountant. Is it challenging? It can be. Is it interesting? It can be. Am I passionate about it... no! Does it pay the bills? Yes. And no sooner did I qualify, and I wanted something more...no.... something different. This just does not feed my soul adequately enough. And why is this? Could it be that it is because it is all about numbers (which I am damn good at by the way) and not the beautiful words that really stir me?
Now I'd like nothing better than to be able to retire earlier than originally planned and earn my living by writing. Sound familiar? I guess writing is my true passion, and I realise now, that a big part of why my original choices for University study were between Law and Psychology, revolve around my passion for the written word. The depth of intellectual discussion and debate fascinates the proverbial out of me! I love trying to fathom the workings of the mind, and to me, a life without equality and justice is not a life worth celebrating. And words...words words words...those beautiful literary collections of letters and characters that speak to passion and wonder, magic and drama...and Truth.
I wrote a lot in my youth; mostly poems and short stories. I read a lot too! Literary fiction, Shakespeare, Autobiographical and Philosophical. I have written ad-hoc during my adult years and tried my hand at a number of hobbies, pursuing a variety of interests but always wondering if I would ever identify that one thing that drove me, fired up that flame inside. That thing that I was passionate about and would love to do as my day job ... if it paid the bills. I knew I loved writing but somehow I never considered it seriously as an option. The entry barriers felt overwhelming high. Hardly anyone makes it, right? It would be well nigh impossible to earn anything as a small fish in a big pond, correct?
Then a friend of mine published a book that dealt with the subject of whether one could pursue one's passion and earn a living doing it and explored whether people were brave enough to take the plunge and jump right in with a belief construct in themselves. I wasn't quite ready, and I'm not there yet, but it did make me sit up and think about what I wanted for the rest of my life!
So, I started writing my novel as a hobby, just for me, an idea to start small and build...and for various reasons (good ones at the time!) the book went on hold. And I missed it. I missed writing but I knew I couldn't get into the novel again just yet. I knew I wanted to grow more as a writer and challenge myself more before I picked up my baby (my book) again. I wanted to do it justice. I wanted to do my characters justice. But I also knew that I needed to get back to writing regularly and stretching myself so that I could get back to my novel someday.
When I took to the internet to search for ways to prompt my writing, I actually had no intention of writing for money online hee hee. I initially joined microfiction contests that challenged me to write more tightly in my literary fiction. I did a lot of research into character arcs and story progression. I decided to try some blogging to stretch myself in a different direction... and to interact with others; to help me learn and grow as a writer. The financial capital? That just kinda happened along the way😂.
I just wanted to woman up and put myself out there! To start getting feedback on my work. To engage with like-minded people...And so when I went looking for blogging, I found PublishOx and Read.cash first. I was amazed that one could earn crypto rewards for writing there, so I gave it a bash. I also joined Torum as I was finding Facebook not immensely engaging as a platform and it seemed like a good alternative with potential. I started engaging there.
Then I met someone who was also on Hive and we chatted! @jaxsonmurph helped me onto Hive, gave me a small delegation to get me started, pointed me to gift giver, and was like a guardian angel with all my questions. I am still active on the other platforms but Hive is my home and I have not looked back.
What started out as a means to an end has become an end in itself. When I am on Hive, engaging, meeting new people, stretching my writing skills, meeting new challenges head-on, I am in my element, thriving, enjoying the moments, fulfilled. I have rediscovered a passion that I always knew I had. I have met the most incredibly soulful people on this platform; kind, generous, supportive, engaging people, and friendships are being born.
I now know that one day, I will be able to write full-time. One day I will be able to give up my current day job.
My pursuit of passion has uncovered my purpose. That part has been fulfilled. One day, the tug of war between all aspects of my being (which are clinging to that purpose, to that passion), and the daily grind, will be won. Words will triumph over numbers, and the joy of writing will be allowed to overflow into the entirety of my life. In the meantime, I just have to have the courage and determination to keep showing up and to continue to enjoy myself. The rest is just details💗🙏
Thank you for reading my post. I do hope we continue to bump into each other on the blockchain; and more often than not, may it be by design😜
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