Martha Carr’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc., newspaper syndicate. E-mail her at Martha@caglecartoons.com.
There’s an old saying that says you have the life you want.
I would like to add my own twist to that and say, so quit your bellyaching. If you really, truly hated where you are in life, you’d do something about it.
You’d stop complaining to everyone who’s still foolish enough to listen, and do something different.
That sounds so simplistic a lot of the time. No one wants to get laid off and then send out a hundred resumes and get two responses.
I went for an interview last year at a business magazine and was faced with two girls in their very early 20’s, who were conducting the interview. I knew how that one was going to turn out before I said a word.
No one wants to join a dating site and go out on three lousy dates.
The first one with a guy who was 10 years older than his picture, and just shrugged at the obvious lie. The second was with a middle-aged man who still lived with his mother in her basement. The last one before I gave up for awhile was a date with the nice fellow who gave me a good, long diatribe on what’s wrong with the current government.
I think he sold insurance but I’m not sure, because he wasn’t interested in talking about himself.
I had even made the vision boards and pasted on the pictures of Prince Charming, a bestselling book, and a big house, but after years of staying positive and focused nothing had magically appeared in my living room.
Small opportunities did come my way, but they not only looked mousey, they looked completely unrelated to my big plans.
I was after a bigger life and clearly that was not my path. I was worried that if I looked away from the dreams on that vision board, I’d never realize them at all.
Surely, this would be the year, and then the year after that one came and went, too.
Some of it did come true, but a lot of it still remained just outside my grasp.
If I wanted something different, I was going to have to figure out how to make a couple of large left turns and go with a really radical idea.
I don’t know what will get me to my destination. That’s my big light bulb moment.
My lack of success kind of proves my point. The only thing I really know is I’d like to get there.
Here’s the tricky part, because for me, the answer turned out to be that I’d have to set out on faith and let go of the outcomes.
I was willing to let go of the idea of ever being a bestselling novelist.
I was willing to let go of the idea that I’d even earn a viable income from the profession.
I was willing to let go of finding a mate who looked like at least a B-list movie star, earned a good living and had an easygoing sense of humor.
I was just plain willing, which meant I stopped trying to guess ahead of time what would work.
It’s been a really, long process and a lot of it has taught me heaping helpings of humility. That’s a good thing.
I’ve learned to be happy with what’s right around me and keep going with whatever opens up in front of me.
An opportunity came up recently to work at a regular job for a while and I’ve been spending my days in the suburbs of Chicago editing corporate documents.
It’s not a bad way to make a living. Friendly people, regular paycheck and I’m not creating the work, I’m editing someone else’s toil.
It’s kind of nice to be the word police for a little while.
There’s a two-hour commute stuck on each end, but I’ve read a lot of good books this past month. I have no idea how any of it relates to selling books, but I know that I’ve done all that I can with that and my literary agent, Rachelle Gardner with Books ’N Such is out there talking to publishers about my latest thriller.
I believe that the pieces will come together to form a picture.
In the meantime, I’m willing to set out on the journey and be a part of things so that the picture even has a chance to form.
Hopefully, there’s a good man in there somewhere.
More adventures to follow. Tweet me @MarthaRandolph with your dreams. www.MarthaCarr.com.
Martha’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc., newspaper syndicate. E-mail Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.