I can’t explain it, but I swear to you it’s true: I had lost track of my age and truly thought I was 42 until, compelled by some small voice in my head telling me to “just double check that, buddy,” I scratched the math onto a napkin once, twice and a third time. Each time this, minus that, borrow a one, came out the same: 44. Thus began a high-speed existential crisis: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance, all in one day. Truth be told, I’m still working on the acceptance piece. I have reconciled myself to the fact I can’t do anything about the age I am now and I recognize that to be here, still aging, is better than the alternative.
But I haven’t reached all my goals yet and it’s later than I thought.
When I got out of graduate school in 1995, I thought I would become an author. I’d have a novel published by the time I was 30. But, instead, I acted on an opportunity to start a business with two friends and told myself that if the business succeeded I could become an author later and do it without having to rely on my writing to support my family. It was a good opportunity, it was a good move, it was a good experience. We succeeded. But when I became 44 that day when I was 42, I realized I’d forgotten to work on the other piece of the plan. To be clear: I hadn’t forgotten the plan, I had forgotten to WORK on the plan.
Until now. I’ve published a short story on Amazon. You can download it for FREE through Monday, September 29th. Free, that’s the right price for an unproven author, right?
We sold our business last year. For other reasons, not related to any of this. But when people ask me if I had any reservations about selling the business and walking away from a success, I can honestly say No.
I find life gets stale if I don’t reinvent myself from time to time.
It was time to work on another goal. The original goal.
The Meter Keeps Running
I was 44. Now I’m 45.
- No. It’s simply impossible.
- There’s no point in trying now; it’s too late.
- Look, God or whoever: let me succeed as an author and I’ll be a better person, I promise.
- I’m 45. So be it.
I still have my identity as a successful entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience, and some days I think I should leverage that into comfort and security. Get fat and happy. But I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t pursue the original goal, the desire that is at the core of who I am. I’m working on my new identity. This is my new adventure.
Some of you may be saying you’ve heard this from me before. It’s true I’ve written about being a writer before. But that was about writing. This is about authoring. Publishing. I can write. I have written. Now I will publish. That’s the adventure.
Acting on the vision. Doing one thing every day to move forward. That’s the adventure.
Here’s how the adventure ends: I succeed.
Here’s what makes it an adventure: I don’t yet know how I succeed. But I’m not going to wait to act until I know. I’m going to make it up as I go along.
In the meantime, did I mention you could download my Kindle Short for Free?
Thanks to Kelsye Nelson for inspiring this post with her post: “How Do You Become a Writer?”.