At this stage of my life I find myself at a crossroads: recently unemployed, with a mortgage & bills to pay and various skills coming to the fore that may or may not be useful in the next phase to come.
Behind me is work I’ve already done — office management for the most part, administering to other people’s businesses and needs. I’m rather good at it, and to be frank I’ve never had a taste for the entrepreneurial life; it requires certain personality traits that I don’t have. Yet as I get older, I have to ask myself (a lá Peggy Lee) “Is that all there is?” I also have definite creative skills, such as photography and writing, but making money from creativity is riskier than ever these days.
To one side of me is the path of doing what other people expect of me; their visions of who I am and what I’m capable of. It’s easy to say “FUCK what other people think!”, but in reality the opinions and superficial observations of others affect one’s choices & decisions far more often than one realizes —or will care to admit. There’s always compromises to be made between self-direction and the perception others have of that direction (and how it affects them).
The other side houses a lifetime of dreams, fantasies, desires and passions: what I want to do and be. This is a terribly seductive path for anyone — who wouldn’t like to leave their cares behind and play in a band, or join the circus, or live on some shady cruise ship in international waters hacking computer code? I’ve seen too many people run headlong towards this path, never seeing the steep cliff ahead until it’s too late. Doing “whatever the hell one wants” requires discipline and a firm grounding in reality.
Before me lies…the unknown. The most terrifying path of all, and the only one out of the four that really exists. So that’s the one I choose. There’s no clear-cut answer to “When I stand at the crossroads, which path should I take?”, because all roads lead to the road ahead.