Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

I wish I could properly attribute this amazing work
of art. It was sent to me by a friend and I have
no clue where she found it!
It’s been nearly two months since I joined the ranks of America’s “unemployed” now. Between the holidays, a promising interview process that ended up not going where I hoped, and over a week of being stuck in bed with a high fever and the worse case of spins I’ve ever experienced, my life is finally starting to settle into a regular routine again.

The way I see it, just because I’m not punching in a time card doesn’t mean I don’t have any way to effectively employ my time. In fact, I often complained that my previous work schedule made it all but impossible for me to do what I really wanted to do with my life: Write and have the freedom to make a real difference in the lives of others.

I came to a decision last week when I was finally able to force my brain to focus on something other than the spiraling palm tree in the corner of my living room. I’ve been given a rare gift in the form of time and I could either spend it applying for job after job that I would only halfheartedly enjoy while worrying how to make ends meet, or I could spend the same amount of time looking for opportunities to do what I love.

When it all comes down to it, my needs are currently covered and while there are no fancy vacations or wardrobe makeovers in my immediate future, I can afford a few simple niceties here and there. And really, that’s all I need to be comfortable. I’m also single, which means I don’t have a family constantly clamoring for me to attend to their needs — all of which means that I can literally spend the majority of my day writing without feeling completely guilty about it. Talk about a major blessing! (I also have more time to focus on my youth ministry, which has been another incredible experience in itself.)

As I write this I’m finishing up the final stages of preparing to work on a pretty exciting project with someone I made a random connection with via Twitter a couple of years ago, which has since turned into a friendship. I just sent off a proposal for an article to a youth magazine I follow, and am waiting to hear back from the editor. And I’ve been added to the mailing list to receive the next batch of editorial topics for another magazine I hope to be able to write for. Add to that, I’ve joined a freelance board and have bid on a couple other small writing projects that I hope will eventually lead to some additional lines in my writer’s resume. Right now it’s all speculative, but when a farmer plants his fields he has no guarantee of a abundant harvest either.

I’ve been an editor for ten years now with dreams of being a writer who does more that sketches ideas and has an occasional short piece published. Now that I have the chance to do so I don’t want to miss out. None of this will come easy. It’s going to require all lot of dedication and sacrifice on my part. I just have to believe that this is a dream ultimately worth pursuing day after day after day.

Could I end up falling flat on my face? Of course! Could this end up being an unmitigated disaster? Possibly. But it’s a risk I have to be willing to take. And I am.

I think it’s fitting that the first day of my new routine happened to fall on the Chinese New Year. Though I can’t claim any connection to their culture, it’s a new year for me too. The fact that it’s the year of the dragon — a symbol that represents strength, courage, and fierce determination to me — is an added bonus.

The year ahead will be filled with challenges. But I am ready to face them head on. How about you?  


  1. You inspire me! Terrific post. Risks are worth taking. If we step back from them, we'll only be moving backwards. But you already know that!

    1. Thanks, Sandy! And I never thought of it that way before. I certainly would hate to be moving backwards, so forward we go! Glad to have you along for the trip!

  2. Amazing what an entire change in career - perspective? - can do, isn't it? This reminds me that I need to get on the ball with several projects, myself...including calling you. :)

    1. It really is! And yes, call anytime! I look forward to chatting with you again to hear about everything that's going on in your life.

  3. Wonderful! This is another one that speaks to me with a powerful message. I too am entering changes in this new year and I have felt God telling me that I won't go through it alone and that I just need to trust Him and step out in faith. It is the hardest thing in the world but it really should be the easiest. I'm always checking your blog because your posts are so full of encouragement. I really appreciate writers like yourself. I really feel like I'm not alone in my pursuits and that I have support from my fellow writers. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Candice! It's encouraging to hear that my blog is being used to encourage others. That's what I set out to do when I started it last you. My theme verse for the year is Joshua 1:9, which pretty much sums up what you said in your comment. Keep writing!