Hmmm. I’m talking to a guy at work about career development and he says, “At your age, you need to strike it big now.” He went on to say there aren’t many choices left at this stage of my career. If I were to take a lateral opportunity to broaden my experience, there won’t be anything left when I’m ready to move up again.
He is a colleague and a friend, and I know he wasn’t saying, “Look, you old hag, give it up.” He was just sharing his view of the world and offering what he thought was good advice. I can’t say I haven’t wondered about the same things.
My reaction? Nothing in real time. I am so well-trained in the art of the poker face that I simply sat there and nodded. One of my strengths is that I am calm in a storm. I can see an issue from all sides and reason everything out, validating and searching for nuggets of truth, so it didn’t occur to me that he was wrong. I just don’t like the concept of a professional expiration date, and I certainly don’t like it applied to me.
Later I came to the conclusion he might have been a bit insensitive, and I was annoyed ... but not for long. I believe he had good intent. And in the end, people can think what they want. Eventually we have to tune out the noise, hold strong and believe in ourselves.
It’s not easy to stay the course. I always wanted to be a writer, but I also wanted to make money, and the two are not necessarily compatible. I was a freelancer for awhile, and that is a quick way to go broke. Back in 1983 I got a gig writing a column for a newspaper. I knew I had found my calling, but when we moved for my husband’s career, I lost the gig. However, I never lost the passion for writing and longed to be a columnist again.
I kept working and dibbled and dabbled at writing, attacking it from all corners, but I couldn't find my groove. Four years ago this month I started this blog. My first post suggested the blog would be about fashion and style, and occasionally it is, but Rock the Silver has evolved to become my personal column -- the reincarnation of my dream from 29 years ago.
In these four years, I’ve attracted wonderful readers like you, and I am grateful for the opportunity to connect. I appreciate that you care enough to read what I write. I’m not sure how I thought this would turn out, this balance of demanding career and writing, but I’m doing what I set out to do, and it feels good. I believed in myself, and I never gave up.
You know I'm not big on dispensing advice, but here it is anyway. Never compromise your dreams because someone expects less of you.