I just received my second paid writing job, and I am thrilled. Who knew a $200 gig could mean so much?
It may sound strange, but I don't think I worked so hard when I worked in a law firm. Sure, I worked long hours. I remember many stretches when we rolled out of bed at 6am, rolled into the office, and rolled back into bed at midnight. And there were nights when I stayed up researching, trying to figure out the best arguments, preparing for that deposition, sweating over the right answer to provide to the client. Oh, and never mind some miserable holidays when I was stuck alone in the office.
But this feels different somehow. Less detached. As if it will take all of me to get it right. As if something within me is at stake, not just a job, not just a paycheck. That it wouldn't be enough for someone else to say it's good, that I need to know that it is. And that feels satisfying somehow.
There are times when I feel slightly embarrassed to be exploring career choices at my age. I'm almost middle aged, for god's sakes. Am I not supposed to have figured it out by now? And I feel silly when I feel excited about the things that used to excite me when I was in college. Like being a part of a group of writers who have things to say. Being excited to learn about things, and the thought of taking up some issue to try to make some point, even if they fall on deaf ears. Regression, perhaps?
Quite likely, yes.
But then I think of some people who turn old before their time. And that's not a pretty sight either.