Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cakes and books

I heard from an older and wiser woman that you couldn't make any real career mistakes until you were 30. I'm 27. I feel as though I'm at a sort of impasse in my work life. I've been doing the same job for five and a half years. I'm good at it. I'm really good at it. Five years of honing in on a specific skill will do that.

But it's a long time to be doing the same thing. And it seems that when the rare opportunity arises to advance, it's a mirage in the desert. I get close enough and it disappears. I've capped out my salary, too. I've got great stamina to work a job without getting bored. But give me over five years with some disappointments that crush my motivation and what I have is a career dilemma.

I have dreams. Not goals. Goals would suggest I'm actively working towards making things happen. I have dreams.

Dream one: To write a graphic novel. I already have the right story to tell. I have a measly six pages complete. I have no place to work on it. Strangely and sadly my best motivational time of day is when I'm working my job and can't take three hours to sit down and work out a page layout.

I think it was Virginia Woolf who said every woman who writes needs her own room. Or something like that. Virginia was on the right track, but I think one needs more. Virginia didn't have to work at a computer for a living. I sometimes wonder how JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a cafe in her spare time with a sleeping baby.

Dream two: Bake and decorate cakes. I love baking. I live in an apartment with practically no kitchen. It's a struggle to make quiche. Making sweets makes me happy and cake is my favourite. I've travelled distances and agreed to parties on the assumption I will get some cake.

I'm an artist. Inherently, it's a part of who I am. Designing unique cakes would be art. It'd be enjoyable and challenging. I have no room in my home or bank account to make this happen. And yet today I looked up cake classes, the prices, the dates and times.

I'm 27 years old. I'm unmarried and childless. I don't own a home. It makes no sense to think that I'm stuck in any kind of job. I wonder why I feel like I am.


Shanen said...

I hear you about the job. I like my job. But I've been doing it for almost 4 years. Working from home = no human contact and it seems almost like I'm wasting my skills because it's so easy. But unlike you, I don't have any idea of what else I would like to do. I've debated going back to school but I would have to keep working as I'm already deep enough in debt. And I really don't know what else I would want to do. I want to take millinery classes, but that's not going to make enough to keep my cats in kibbles and me in shoes.

For the writing, you may have to do what my friend Liz does. She schedules her writing. And mu do X amount of words a day. If nothing comes, just sit there a predetermined amount of time and something may eventually come. Though that's easier said that done. I've been talking about writing a vampire novel for years. Also thinking about writing some Harlequin romance. (I have a friend who works there. A first published book would wipe out my student debt. A second could net me more than I make in a year!) We'll see if I ever actually do it. It's hard to want to sit and type for hours after I've sat and typed for hours.

If you start making cakes, please start inviting me to eat them.

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