It would be easy to be contented by the excitement I feel about this year, but I can not let that feeling replace the urgency to make great things happen. Like hearing the opening to Appalachian Spring, I know something great is coming, but for my sake I need to make my own way as a writer and not fall into the disappointing patterns I took in 2018.
Let’s start with my backup. I have a strong marriage with a smart, nurturing wife, and I have an amazing daughter. If there’s anything that I could point to that shows what I have to gain by working towards my goals for this year, it is our lives together in California. I have the support of my family, who want to see me reach my potential and be happy. I have a decent job that pays well enough.
Frankly, I don’t have any major problems in my life to complain about. I consider myself very lucky in so many regards. But I am a 33-year-old man with a family with aspirations to do more, create more, earn more, provide more.
The only thing I need to make things happen for myself is time and sacrifice. I’m a firm believer that if you stick to a path, the universe has a way of putting opportunities in your way. Not only do you need to be ready for them, you need to be on the watch, and you need to look rejection in the face as tell it to fuck itself.
When it comes to writing I’ve been rejected a lot. When I first moved back to California from Korea, I tried to look for full-time writing gigs. It goes without saying that I didn’t land any of those. Instead, I pitched a few articles to blogs and made enough to buy lunch for my family. I reached some notable progress with a few creative projects, but those took the back-burner spot as I needed to do a better job providing for my new family. Even today as I hit the job boards hard again, I know I won’t hear back from most of these jobs, if any at all.
This week, I’ve come to grips with that feeling that I resented myself a lot in 2018 for all that rejection and all that time and sacrifice that I didn’t put in to writing. I wanted to write, but not enough, and I blamed circumstances for not letting me write. How ridiculous it sounds! It ended up toxic for me and sometimes even for my marriage. Confronting this feeling is liberating even though it comes with the sense of disappointment at my shallowness and lack of sincerity. In 2018, I took a comfortable route financially, but it ended up making me uncomfortable with myself!
While working in ESL education has allowed me to save every month and enjoy myself from time to time, going back to that was never my intention–getting involved in the business side of a private ESL school, even less so. I am thankful to my bosses and colleagues there, but, for personal reasons, it is time for me to move on.
When it comes to my goals for this year, I aim to transition from a full-time job in the ESL education business to writing. There, it feels good to put it in writing. Ideally, I will weave them together in some ways. I have a few ideas in mind.
But when it comes to my own writing, it’s about me sitting at this computer for thirty minutes to an hour every day and writing something like I’m doing now. It might be something related to table top role playing games, more flash writing (like the No Man’s Sky journals), things I am doing with my family or friends, music I’m listening to, or something else.
I’m looking forward to having and sharing a great year of personal growth.