Lisa in Chicago writes:
My deal is this: I feel that I have lost my chance to take advantage of my potential. I married later in life and love my husband and our daughter immensely! I just feel that I focused so much on finding someone to marry and settle down with, that I didn’t go to school as long as I should have to get a good job doing something that I can be proud of. I work for the family business and feel stagnant. The pay is not great and there is no advancement. I don’t feel appreciated from the family members that I work for – I feel I could’ve been doing something more exciting. Something more enjoyable. People keep telling me I should be an author. I bought myself a laptop to start writing, but I’m scared. What if I’m not good enough? What if no one wants to read my story, etc. Also, our finances really stink and I want to know if they are going to get better. When and how?
I’m not trying to sound like a cheerleader, but every day that you wake up is another opportunity to better your life. You just need to put a little energy behind that concept, and let go of excuses and justifications you use to keep yourself still.
You have some things going for you, particularly a loving and supportive family. That alone puts you ahead of many people on the planet. I’m glad to see that you are grateful. As for everything else – with some constant effort, all of that can be changed.
You may be working for people who don’t fully appreciate you, but at least it’s a paycheck. A very necessary one. However, because of your time and experience with this company, you can find another job. Sometimes the only way to increase earnings is to change employers, as is the case with you. While another job would be with a larger company, bringing you a bit more money and responsibility, it will still be a job. Unless you go back to school, I don’t really see you having the soul-satisfying, paycheck-generating, secure position that you would like to have. You could put your resume out there and see what happens, but it looks as if you are just going to continue on with things as they are. Just know that the option is there.
Your financial plane looks like it is going to be tight for the next couple of years. Money doesn’t always just find a way to come to us, we sometimes have to find our way to making more of it. Prices have a nasty habit of rising higher than paychecks, especially when we allow ourselves to fall into the mindset of, “this is the best I can do.” That line of thinking keeps us from striving for more, and essentially creates that reality. You, and your husband, are stuck in that mindset. So, if you want to change your financial picture, you must first change the way you think about it, and then follow through.
Writing can be very profitable and soul-satisfying work, but it’s tough, and a tough field. Of course it’s scary! There are no guarantees. One thing I’ve learned is that if you have something to say, there is someone out there who will read it. If you are serious about becoming a writer then you must continue to write. You can treat it as a hobby, or you can treat it as a secondary career. Either way, finish what you start. Don’t stop, or you will be left with another item on your “could have, should have, would have” list. As a matter of fact, I’d like to suggest you throw that list away. Anything you think you missed out on doing can still be achieved. You just have to decide that you are going to make it happen, and then you will find a way.