It’s funny the things that influence your life.
Take my husband. He wanted to be an engineer when he was at school and he is an engineer. The only thing that changed along the way was how he was going to achieve that goal and nothing and nobody could sway him from that dream. These days I’m not so sure if this says more about his passion or his stubborn streak, but either way, he’s been living his dream forever.
I, on the other hand, trekked a wobbly old path to get to where I am now. I wanted to be a reporter. Even at an early age I was curious about people and their stories and I used to write pages of earnestly bad narrative. A plane crash involving a fatality on our farm put an end to the journalist dream though. After Mum had turned away yet another reporter from our front door, she heaved and seethed about sneaky, low-life reporters and their dubious morals and values. Mum’s principals ruled in those days and so, with my nine-year old moral compass safely intact, I gave up on my secret dream.
My next snag came as a 24-year old, this time at the hands of a well-intentioned business owner. By now I’d completed my degree in English Lit and I was teaching secondary school English – but I wanted to be a florist! I craved beauty and colour and texture and design. So, I went to talk to a florist to find out more – only for her to tell me there was no money in floristry and to stick with teaching. As first-time homeowners with a seemingly endless mortgage freshly under our belts, money was key. And so, another dream was set aside.
However, life was good, great even. We worked, we laughed, we painted our hallway red and our bedroom yellow, we married, we lived abroad, we had a family. But post-children I started thinking and remembering. Every day I was encouraging my children to follow their passions and every day I was reminded that I hadn’t followed my own. So one day I handed in notice for my sensible part-time teaching job, took on a gig writing for the local paper and signed up to study interior design.
The rest, as they say, is history. These days I’m a published freelance writer with an interior design business who is loving the creative outlet – doing something I was always destined to do. Just a shame I wasn’t as stubborn as my husband from the outset!