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Like Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit fame) I took my eye off the ball and found myself wearing a pair of ill-fitting trousers. Like Wallace, it came as a complete surprise and I found myself in a troubling situation, pushed and pulled in all directions, the trousers taking control. True to form, I tried to go with the flow and enjoy the challenge. Perhaps the trousers were Fate’s way of leading me in a new direction. I devoted all my energy into working with the trousers and hoping that everything would slot neatly into place.
But it didn’t. No matter how hard I tried, the trousers didn’t fit. The struggle was making me miserable and I knew it couldn’t continue. And so I decided to take some time to really think about the things that make me happy and the things that were missing from my life.
After weeks of pondering I came up with a very short list:
1. A job where I can truly make a difference.
3. Voluntary work/helping people.
I was surprised how simple the list was.
I loved the people I worked with but the job I had found myself in just wasn’t for me. I’d given it my best but I was wearing the wrong trousers. Because I worried so much about my job I couldn’t focus on writing and had let it slip. I missed it. Writing to me is like eating fruit and vegetables: I can go for a short period of time without them but they are a necessary and enjoyable part of my diet and I don’t function well without them. I hadn’t written anything for a long time, not even in my journal, and my mind felt foggy and in turmoil. And with all my energies concentrated on the journey the wrong trousers were taking me on, I had no time for the voluntary activities that were so important to me.
So I made the decision to hand in my notice and look for a job in a not-for-profit organisation. I said goodbye to the wrong trousers and took a month off to get back into the right ones, the ones that fit me well. I secured a role with a great charity and started writing again.
There’s just one thing left on the list, number three, and I’m looking forward to bringing it back into my life. And then I’ll be completely back into my own trousers. The right trousers.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/plashingvole/5403591565/">Plashing Vole</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>