I started my morning a little surprised by the reaction I had to a blog I read about career transitions.  I get a weekly feed of leadership blogs and this was on the list.  Little did I know it would so closely echo the conversation I had with my dad this weekend while sitting around his new fire pit.  And, like a total nerd, I emailed the author right away to find out how he did it.  He even wrote back!

This blog was about how the author quit his 20+ year corporate career to become a writer.  His father had shared a story with him about his regrets over not following his own dreams and he wanted to see his son follow his while he was still alive to see it. So the author has done just that.

My conversation went like this “Mom says you went to a writing class.  What are you doing with it?”  To my surprise, I had a lot to say about what I learned and how I have started to apply it.  I then talked about the discipline of writing and needing to be comfortable with writing a lot of bad stuff.  He said that he thinks I have a real talent both for research and for telling a story.  He said he admires how I am not afraid to speak and share my thoughts (not the same thing he was saying back when I was a kid being sent to a shrink to share my thoughts outside the family unit but that’s another story.)

 I was then able to tell him about my blog and how this is my “practice” for developing a routine with a little less pressure to be good.  Then I told him about the Moth and my goal of storytelling which is different than writing something and reciting it.  Then I told him how I am starting a small memoir and don’t need to worry about publishing because there are other avenues.  It was hard to stop explaining all the things I am working on, my strategies, my self awareness.  I talked about the exhaustion of my job and how that takes away from my creativity which is why the discipline is so hard.  I talked about being on anti-depressants for 20 years and why that makes it harder to reach quality writing.  I told him that it’s nice so many people encourage me but that doesn’t mean I am any good.  If I were being compared to others in this actual world, I would never be able to keep up with real writers and their real talent.  Basically, I shared the entire world inside my head.  And it’s ridiculously well thought out.  

It wasn’t until today that I realized I am in this.  I am really going to be in it and make this a huge part of my life.  I know I won’t make a living off it but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it.  

He then said “I wish I had the courage to write.  I know I have stories to tell but I just don’t have the guts to do it.”  He might as well have just told me he wants me to chase my dream and do it in his lifetime.  The only difference is he would never tell me to quit my job.  That’s where all this emotional chaos started….decades ago when I was told I had no choices.  But that was a long Facebook post last week.  There was a lot my parents didn’t know or understand back then.  If they had it to do over, they would have tried to help me find a financially responsible way to be creative and never work behind a desk.  But we are here now and it can still be figured out.

Maybe I am supposed to write my dad’s stories for him.  Maybe his lifetime is super short at this point.  The fire pit may have lit a fire for me to get this stuff done and moving while he can see it.  I feel like a lot of life is going to change because of the conversations we have around the fire pit and I am so looking forward to it.