Reassessing the Dream

AlmostProductiveI read this blog entry over the weekend (http://dianekawasaki.blogspot.com/2013/09/shit-happens-why-i-left-la.html), and it has repeatedly popped up in my brain since. Los Angeles is a difficult place. This business is impossibly strange– how things actually get accomplished remains a mystery. And every decision seems like a risk. So, it’s no wonder that this part, in particular, resonated with me:

“I didn’t quit on life. I decided to cut out a part of my life that was no longer working. There is a significant difference between giving up on something that has life and something that no longer has the capacity to grow (DEAD).”

 

It’s no secret that I’m going through a period of reassessment right now. And while I’m not at the point where Diane got to, I completely relate to needing to decide if some aspect of a goal still has the capacity to grow.

While writing the next great American novel or selling a screenplay would undoubtedly bolster my confidence, passion has to exist in order for me to really feel like growth is a possibility. And that’s difficult for me because there never has been one driving desire in my life. Do I enjoy writing? Yes. Is it an all-consuming passion? No.

There are a lot of things that I would be fine doing provided the bills got paid. I’ve written for most of my life—Hell, I was writing Remington Steele spec scripts when I was 16 (for those of you playing the home game, that was a very long time ago). Even if I stop pursuing it as a career, I’ll still write. Would I like to get paid for that? Obviously. Will my life end if I don’t? No.

I’m finding that rather than being absolutely certain that this is my path that I’m going through periodic (and more frequent) phases of reassessment. Does this still make sense for me? Am I getting better as a writer? Am I still discovering aspects to the work that interest me? How am I going to pay the bills?

It’s easy enough to tell someone not to give up on a dream when you aren’t facing their consequences of continuing to pursue it. I give kudos to Diane for recognizing what wasn’t working in her life and making a decision to change it.

4 comments on “Reassessing the Dream”

  1. Dee Murray Reply

    I read her blog and I rather disagree with her terminology…though she has every right to use whatever words work for her. I rather prefer to think of it as “walking away” than giving up. I had a job once with a lunatic boss (LOL! I know what you’re thinking…yes, but no) and the job description turned out to be not even one grain of sand close to the actuality of the position. I toiled at this job for nine months. Not six years…but I was older than 29 at the time…and one night I just went home and cried on the phone to my dad that I was not a quitter. I could DO this…I was not giving up because I was smart and educated and this CANNOT be that difficult. And my dad told me this: you’re not a quitter. You’re walking away from something that you don’t like, and you don’t have the talent for. It doesn’t mean you’re not smart, it’s just not your gift. And the more you toil at this, the more you are letting the gifts that you DO possess lose their shine. Just hold your head high and say that this just is not for you and move on to something that you DO like and your gifts will show. I’m still looking for THAT job, but for now, some of my gifts shine a teensy bit more brightly in this job. And it pays the bills ’til I figure it out.

    • KateDating Reply

      I think knowing when to walk away is extremely valuable– and an instinct often ignored because we think we should stick it out. The tipping point is different for every person. While I haven’t hit mine yet, I’m definitely reassessing what I’m doing now versus the benefit of doing it in a different way.

  2. Dee Murray Reply

    I read her blog and I rather disagree with her terminology…though she has every right to use whatever words work for her. I rather prefer to think of it as “walking away” than giving up. I had a job once with a lunatic boss (LOL! I know what you’re thinking…yes, but no) and the job description turned out to be not even one grain of sand close to the actuality of the position. I toiled at this job for nine months. Not six years…but I was older than 29 at the time…and one night I just went home and cried on the phone to my dad that I was not a quitter. I could DO this…I was not giving up because I was smart and educated and this CANNOT be that difficult. And my dad told me this: you’re not a quitter. You’re walking away from something that you don’t like, and you don’t have the talent for. It doesn’t mean you’re not smart, it’s just not your gift. And the more you toil at this, the more you are letting the gifts that you DO possess lose their shine. Just hold your head high and say that this just is not for you and move on to something that you DO like and your gifts will show. I’m still looking for THAT job, but for now, some of my gifts shine a teensy bit more brightly in this job. And it pays the bills ’til I figure it out.

    • KateDating Reply

      I think knowing when to walk away is extremely valuable– and an instinct often ignored because we think we should stick it out. The tipping point is different for every person. While I haven’t hit mine yet, I’m definitely reassessing what I’m doing now versus the benefit of doing it in a different way.

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