Last year at this time, I posted a blog called the Backside of Thirty. I wrote that post about my 36th birthday and the feeling of frustration related to starting fast and being stuck. Since today is my 37th birthday, I thought it appropriate to revisit that post and discuss how different things feel after another trip around the sun.
Last year, writing that post seemed to be a turning point for me. My work on City Council wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as it had once been and I began taking steps to move on. I realized that while I enjoyed my United Way work, there was a lot more that I wanted to do and more that I wanted to contribute. Last year I felt trapped and stuck in the wilderness. A year can make a big difference.
The biggest step that I’ve taken in the last year has been to truly commit myself to my craft. While I do a lot of things, I consider myself to be a communicator first. In the last year, I have focused heavily on getting better. I read more than I ever have. I write more than I ever have and I’ve found new ways to put myself in front of an audience. This commitment has given me what I sorely needed last year at this time and that’s the feeling of accomplishment. Giving myself targets to hit and constantly striving to make sure that I do has put me back in control. I’ve bet on myself and more often than not, I’ve won.
That’s not to say that this last year has been easy. There have been a lot of early mornings and late nights writing blog posts, recording videos and working on keynotes, but every one of those days has been more than worth it. This is the price I pay for chasing a dream and it’s never too high.
The lesson in all of this is that if you feel trapped, stuck in the wilderness or just plain unhappy, commit to what you love. Don’t walk away from your paycheck, but don’t turn your back on your passion either. The gift I gave myself this year has been to join the Slash/Economy. To not wait until everything was perfect or until I had everything, to just commit and start. Since taking this step, I’m a year older, but most importantly, I’m a year happier and I have myself to thank. D it for yourself, because trust me, if I can do it, I know that you can.