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Calling April 1, 2013

Posted by thejinx in life.
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I have never held a permanent job for more than a year.

But perhaps I should start farther back.

I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I entertained a lot of ideas as a child, but nothing ever grabbed me, consuming my full attention, and made me say this is what I want to do with my life.

When I entered college, I studied computer repair, because, well, the best excuse I have now is it seemed like a good idea at the time. It wasn’t. I didn’t make it through the program. So, still living at home at the time, I entered the workforce instead.

I’d only ever held one real job through high school, which was at a movie theatre. Dissatisfaction with the job, and more notably the management, made me leave after about six months. When I needed to start making money after leaving college, having nothing of note on my resume at the time, I started out at a temp agency doing office work. It sufficed while I still didn’t know what to do with my life and I was good at it.

With a very lenient parent, I didn’t need a constant source of income, so I took jobs when they were available, which never lasted longer than two weeks, save one. I got in on a regular, twice monthly borderline light industrial position at a state agency operating a mail inserting machine for mass mailing. I got the evening shift, 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and I ended up enjoying the job quite a bit. I liked my coworkers and I enjoyed the work. The irregularity meant it wasn’t enough to live off, but it lasted for two years and I was glad to go back each time.

Of course, I was maintaining a long-distance relationship at that time, and the job had to end when I moved to Canada to get married. Once I was able to work here, with still little to show for myself on my resume, I started out the same way, at a temp agency.

Eventually, this got me in the door at the company where my husband works, which we had been trying to get me into for some time already, and I even ended up in the same office as him. After six months as a temp, I was hired on permanently.

Of course, no sooner was I beginning to feel unfulfilled with this position than I was laid off.

My experience there got me in another temp-to-perm job at a similar company in the same position. Once again, after a year there and just as I began to question whether this was what I wanted to be doing with my life, I was laid off. However, while I was there, I self-published my first book, Aurius, doing the cover art myself and using my experience in these two jobs with document formatting to take care of all aspects of the book creation myself.

And that’s when it hit me. I enjoyed doing that.

I enjoyed every step of the process. The editing, the interior layout, the cover creation, and of course holding my own book in my hands. And I realized, I could do this for other people.

I’ve read a lot of really good amateur/indie fiction posted online to websites like Fictionpress and Elfwood, and I know there are a lot – a lot – of manuscripts out there that have never left people’s drawers or hard drives. And I know that not everyone has the knowledge, or the interest, to turn a manuscript into a book. And the thought of doing this for others gave me great joy. It was a light bulb moment.

So Brain Lag became not only the name I published my books and my husband’s under, but the name of my burgeoning small press business. I still have a lot to learn, and I still have moments of feeling like a very small fish in a very big ocean. But I’m willing to stick it out and do what I can to get this business off the ground and publish books for other authors.

Because I found my calling. This is what I want to do with my life.

Have you found the career that you’re passionate about? How long did it take you to find out what you wanted to be when you grew up?

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Comments»

1. Blackmax1 - April 2, 2013

I’ve held a lot of ‘real jobs’ but my passion since I was in my early teens has been writing fiction. It took a while since I didn’t get support from my family (“writing is a good hobby, but you have to earn a living too”) but I eventually combined the family edict with my passion and became, first a reporter, then a PR flack, and finally, I started — at the end of a long career — to write fiction.


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