Last night, I watched a Hallmark movie (I know, don't judge) called Love Strikes Twice. It was about a woman who was 37 years old (same age as me) and had just found out her husband was regretting their marriage. She made a wish in a fountain to have a do over and found herself 15 years earlier. Throughout the movie, she made some important changes to her life, and her town, and learned some things about herself along the way.
It made me think about my own life. Lately, I've been feeling a bit more in a rut at work, despite the fact that I just started this new job just over two months ago. It was everything I thought I wanted: working in government policy, in a program I really believe in, but I'm just not loving it like I thought I would. Some of it is that I don't fit into the culture. I'm an early bird and it seems like everyone else I work with are night owls. I had to change my hours, which has led to some really long days, and I kind of hate that. In my last position, I didn't like the work we did (compliance), but I loved my team. It was a small group of people, and for the most part, I fit in. Though, that being said, the culture of the feds vs the state is so different. I had so many close relationships with my coworkers at the state that I still talk to them to this day. With the feds, I don't know if it's just the nature of the work or the people, but I haven't really felt connected to any of my coworkers since I started. They're nice and friendly, but the relationships are much more arms length than I'm used to. I miss the camraderie I had with my state coworkers.
Anyway, over the summer, I worked with several writers I met online through various writer groups. Some I served as a beta readers, others were critique partners. What I found is that I really enjoyed reading their work and offering suggestions and edits to improve it. While watching the movie last night, I couldn't help wondering what my life would have been like if I hadn't taken the path that I did.
I always loved writing and had dreams of being an author from an early age, but when my mom died, I gave up that dream for something I deemed more "practical." I started working at the law firm my mom had worked as a legal secretary, which led to my second love: the law. I thought about going to law school, but I realized I didn't want to defend bad law, I wanted to change it, to fix it. And so, I pursued a degree that would help me get into policy. It took me three years, but eventually I made my way to the policy side of my agency.
But what if I hadn't gone that route? What if I had stayed the course and finished my bachelor's degree in English instead of legal studies? Would I have pursued a career as an author, working odd jobs to get by? Would I have gone into publishing, working as an editor? Maybe right now, I'd be living and working in NY at some big or small publishing house.
It's funny how the choices we make lead us down different paths. I don't necessarily regret the path I'm on as I do enjoy researching complex legal issues and now I have the chance to help write some of those laws either through editing legislation or drafting regulations. But the movie last night definitely made me wonder what my life would have been like if I had made the choice to follow my first love. I'm glad to have come back to it now, and I believe it's never too late to follow your dreams, but I have lost some time in the process.
What about you? Have you found yourself on a path you didn't expect? If you could go back in time, would you? What would you change?
Leave a Reply.
Book reviews, random thoughts, and writing samples from an aspiring author.