My stomach churned at the thought. Should I tell them? Should I try to be funny and play things off?
“So a memorable professional moment for me was that I survived another year.” The girl spoke with such eagerness. While I kept my head facing downwards, ashamed. Unlike her, I had not survived another year.
I glanced around the circle of people, and their eyes shifted to the right and the next person began to speak. Three more people and then it’d be my turn to share my most memorable professional and personal moment of 2017. I knew what I had to say, I just had to say that I’ve chosen to become a writer.
My stomach churned again, as if the very mention of the word made me want to cower and hide. I wasn’t ashamed to be a writer, but rather that I’d feel like fraud for saying that I was a writer. I wrote a novel, still being edited, I write short stories, not much of a following, and I have a blog, still small, but did that allow me to call myself a writer?
“I got a promotion at my job.” The group applauded and cheered. Two more people to go.
My mind began to play out different scenarios in my head. What’s the worst that could happen if I told people? I thought of the silence that came. Everyone would be surprised and then confused. You majored in HR, you had a stable job, and you left it all for something as uncertain as writing? Then laughter would follow or more silence.
I looked above the heads of the people in front of me, and found myself staring at the fluorescent lights that lined the ceiling of the office. I didn’t miss this. I didn’t miss the office space and the feeling of being constrained. Constrained by both limited space and allotted time.
“I’m happy to say that I’ve survived another year as well!” Another girl exclaimed.
Another survivor. Another person who stuck it through, I thought to myself. I could have done it too, I could have stayed at my job another year, but what then? Am I going to look back at my years and think. Wow. I did it. I survived another year and it’s time to go through another one.
No. I wanted to look back at a year filled with accomplishments. A year where I did something that I wanted and I could feel proud of it. Deep down, I knew that I was never going to find it in my previous career path.
Before I knew it, all eyes were aimed at me. I looked up and I hesitated. Should I say it? Can I say it? I took a deep breath.
“My most memorable personal moment of 2017 was the infinity war trailer” Laughter echoed throughout the office space. Okay some light humor to start things off, that always helped. “Ok but in all seriousness, my most memorable moment was going to Disneyland with my girlfriend for the first time and then my most memorable professional moment of 2017 was-”
Just say it. Just say it! I took a deep breath.
“-leaving my job to pursue writing. I.. uhmm… just finished my first novel.” My head faced downwards once more, I wanted to avoid eye contact with anyone. “I mean it’s a steaming pile of… well you know.” I laughed nervously. “But… it’s a work in progress.”
The group was silent and then it was followed by applause. Comments of wow and that’s great Sig! went around the room. At that moment, my feelings of doubt and anxiety seemed to flow away. Then I realized… I just told everyone that I was a writer. This was a defining moment for me because I just told a group of twenty something people that I was a writer.
That was easier than I thought, but now the hard part begins. I’ve made a commitment, and now there’s no going back. I’ve made commitments before, but in the privacy of my own mind. So telling people what I wanted to do and was a very big step for me.
I should have done this a long time ago, I thought to myself. Now that it’s out there, now that people know; it’s made me more motivated than ever before. I have nothing to hide and I know people are expecting a lot from me. Nothing wrong with that right? I just have to show everyone I can do it.
I will become a writer and along the way I will probably cry, fall, and give up temporarily, but I’ll pick myself up and become a writer. No… I’m already a writer. Right?