“Sometimes the road to your dreams is not so straight.”
J.R. Martinez, Iraq War Veteran, 2011 Winner Dancing with The Stars
I recently had the good opportunity to meet J.R. Martinez in person at a local charity event. He said the above quote in his speech to a crowd of 500 people. At the time, I wrote it down as part of an interview I had with him for the USO’s ON PATROL Magazine which was a print article. It’s the one thing he said of many that resonated in my mind.
Years of working in different fields to make a living left me feeling like a fish out of water. I’ve gone from the cable industry to billing and finance to administrative work. Writing has always been a side interest but one that never really seemed to pay. So I dabbled on the side, occasionally interviewing interesting people who did work in the field of their dreams. The road to my dream job was long, quite curvy and had many off ramps taken. There were pot holes along the way, which I bounced over. Road signs were missed, so along I went taking me where the road led.
I recently hit a hard bump on this road which provided the time to finally study the road map of where I wanted to go. Armed with self-confidence, a new-found feeling of positivity, I launched a job search only in the field I wanted to be in. Writing.
Sure there were people and government workers who tried to move me off my road and into one they thought was better. I ignored them. Only I know which road to take.
My mother always told me to keep my chin up during these rough times. I used to think it was a cliché said because she couldn’t think of anything else. Now I realize that you really have to do that or else you will miss the signs to better opportunities. (Something else J.R. has said.) Yeah, it can be hard to be positive and walk with your head high when the world kicks you to the curb. But the curb is not that high anyway. Raise your head and kick it back!
My road was not straight. It was not easy. But I found it, mapped it and paid attention to the neon signs the world was now sending me. Tomorrow, Jan 16, is my first day on the job as a paid writer.
I wish me well.