The battle I lost
Watching the elevator doors opening before me my vision blurred in disbelief of what I just did. Did that conversation just happen? Had I really made a life altering choice in that moment? A small hand rested on my shoulder supporting my decision as I held my box of belongings.
My sophomore year at Texas Tech University was proving to be more challenging than I anticipated. A normal week for me includes 5 classes, 3 jobs, and 1 girlfriend. The classes are pretty standard and 2 of the three jobs are not worth mentioning, however, the third job and girlfriend consumes the majority of my life. They are the source of the battle.
On one side of the field is a new girlfriend of about 3 months and on the other side, my time-consuming but passion of writing for The University Daily. TTU’s student newspaper wasn’t close to The New York Times, but working for the paper was a step in the right direction.
The source of the conflict between the two entities was money. The paper paid us for 1 story per week, which amounts to about 2 hours worth of paid work. Anyone that has worked in that industry knows that it may only take 2 hours to write a good article, it takes well more time to research properly.
“You’ll never make enough money to support a family as a writer.” It is strange the words that ring loud in our life no matter how old they are. Looking back to that day, I shake my head at some of the decisions I made during that year, but believing that lie was the worst. The opening of the elevator doors on the bottom floor of the journalism building signified the injury my passion sustained that day.
Shame and fear kept winning
Even a properly dressed wound can get infected. Doctors tell you to prevent the wound from opening to keep it dry and properly bandaged. What I din’t know about my wound was that even when the battle was over and the enemies were no longer a part of my life, that I would have to worry about it becoming infected with shame and fear.
Not to speak for my audience, but God gave me a talent with words. Not only in the content of my work, but in efficiency. This proves to aid me when I am under a deadline, but I still must put out quality work. I have proof of this talent, so one would think that after my relationship ended with enemy number one, that I would go back to writing.
Unfortunately that was not the case. Even as I matured, writing became a place of fear. First, I was fearful that if I pursued writing full-time, that I would not be able to support my family. Secondly, I was afraid to succeed. The doubt of success that creeped in told me that even if I was successful and made enough money, that I was no longer good enough to justify an audience.
That shame and fear of success kept opening my wound and the pain prevented me from doing what I was called to do. That is until I no longer had a choice.
Looking under the bandages
Have you ever looked back over a period of time in your life and thought wow, it couldn’t have happened any other way. Well, that is exactly my story. Almost exactly 20 years to the date of me leaving The University Daily, we were effectively snowed in for 13 days.
The closest a vehicle could get to us was about a mile and a half. I made the hike one time for supplies, but that was not a pleasant experience. (a post for another time). Thankfully, my position at SEL allowed me to work from home without missing a beat.
Over the next 10 work days, I was able to perform as desired for work as well as take care of the household while Jess worked her business. What we discovered is that neither my work or the house suffered and Jess’ business thrived. In fact, she doubled her team size and her sales shot through the roof.
I hope I never forget this day, but I remember sitting on the bed with Jess next to me. I was eating my lunch playing on the computer and found a copywriter’s academy, Comprehensive Copywriting Academy. They were offering a free trial to get started in the copywriting business. I clicked and thought why not.
Once I peaked at my wound through the academy, there was no going back. It was like a flood of inspiration came and washed out the infection of fear and shame. Don’t get me wrong, after a year, I am still cleaning the wound. But, I finally received the outlet I needed to get over my wound and not only prevent it from opening again, but I could actually start healing.
Healing without opening the wound
Returning to SEL after the snow cleared was the strangest feeling. My boss had a gut feeling that I was going to come back and quit. He thanked me for giving them at least a 30 day notice. It sounded absolutely crazy! I worked at SEL for 7 years and the job had been the best job I ever had. Benefits were great and pay was competitive.
However, it was time to heal. After leaving, I dove into the academy and started stacking the shelves with self help books. If you’re looking for recommendations, I have plenty for you. If you think I am about to tell you that now things are coming up roses every day, then I must warn you, the journey is just as hard as I expected.
Every day I wake up and write and fight my own resistance. We are not millionaires. In fact, we still are not back to the level of income I made at SEL. However, I am confident I am, for the first time in 20 years, on my right path. I have published on Amazon, I write at least 1 blog per day, and I fight worry every day that my wound will re-open.
This story is very sensitive to me and my journey. But I share it with you as an encouragement that even if you are 40-year-old man on his second marriage with four kids that it isn’t too late to pursue your passion. To start to remove the bandages from your wound and let it properly heal.
Have you ever wanted to be a copywriter or looking for a side-hustle? Check out Nicki’s page. She got me started down this amazing journey.
Satisfaction in the bedroom is one of the most important components of a happy life. If you’re feeling stuck or looking for the next adventure. Check out Jessica B. and her lotions, potions and things that go buzz in the night!
Curious what I do on my free time when I am not writing?
Check out my business’ home page: CCSE