Sometimes I look at that picture and imagine I am riding my horse…out of town.
Most of the time the soundtrack in my mind plays music from a Western like The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Â But sometimes it’s different, sometimes I see myself boarding a ship and sailing off for parts unknown.
Either way it is because it is a course correction and my life will never be the same.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iâ€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost
If you ask me if it was a conscious change I’ll want to say yes but if I take a moment to think about it I am not really sure if that is true.
Nor do I know if it really matters whether I started the process consciously or subconsciously because either way I chose the road less traveled and that enabled me to look at something likeÂ Hanging Out With Hairy as having potential to be something more than just words on a page.
Initially it was just a story that I was playing with because it provided a bigger challenge than just writing a simple post and then it turned into something else.
A chunk of a tale that could be expanded, manipulated and massaged into the kind of story that others might want to read.
It is funny in the interesting and peculiar sense of the word to see how our vision of life changes as we age. Ignore the visions I used to have of myself as a pro athlete and think about the boy who thought about becoming a sports writer and watch as that dream is let go.
Let go because by plan, dumb luck or a combination of both I start selling advertising. It doesn’t take long for me to realize I am good at it and the financial rewards put more in my pocket than I ever could have imagined.
Jack no longer dreams of becoming a writer because now his pockets and bank accounts are filled with cash and he hears and sees stories about successful sales people.
They don’t just make lots of money–they become CEOs.
That sounds like it could be a worthwhile endeavor. That sounds like it might be worth chasing because even if you don’t make CEO you might still make lots of money and be able to buy the house of your dreams, take vacations that you never thought possible and drive cars that you only saw in movies.
But somewhere in the midst of all this the change in thinking starts. Maybe it is back in 2004 when the first blog was opened up and a certain Shmata Queen told the boy she thought he was a talented writer.
Maybe that is when the thought first started bouncing around inside, pin balling from one place to the next.
Recession Leads To Depression
One day I expect to see history books talk about the second Great Depression in the U.S. Today they refer to it as a Great Recession but the only great thing about it was how effective it was at leading to depression.
Because when I got rocked by the wave that hit so many others it forced major life changes that were so significant I still feel the aftershocks now.
And maybe, just maybe in the years to come I’ll look back at that time and be in a position where I smile and talk about it as having led to good stories as well as being the blunt instrument that forced the course correction to not only continue but to do so in a far more conscious and active manner.
Somewhere during the time that followed that recession I went back to not just calling myself a writer but thinking of myself as one too.
It led to full time work that paid better than I had imagined it would and made me recognize that if I wanted to I could find a way to earn again as if I was in sales but to do so as a writer.
The realization brought a huge smile to my face and still does but there is a difference between now and then.
Because in the time that passed I figured out what I want and what I need. That enabled me to recognize I don’t need to earn as I once did to be happy.
And though it might sound contradictory acknowledging that has always made me believe that I will earn as I once did.
But even if I don’t I am going to continue walking down this road less traveled because it really has made all the difference and there is no going back to where I was.
There is only moving ahead to see what kind of life this course correction provides.