When I was a child my dream was to become a journalist. I can't explain why but something about the craft intrigued me and I wanted in. Was it because all of the sudden speaking your mind freely was not a punishable offence in post-Soviet Russia? Perhaps. I was 10 years old, I didn't understand the reasons. Maybe I could sense the lack of censorship in the air.
My dream was shut down by everyone around me. At 13 years I didn't possess the mental skills that allow me to withstand the external negative thinking, so I gave up before I could start developing the craft. The destruction of my one love unfortunately didn't create any new ideas on what I should do with my life. Only reasonable and logical were acceptable by my parents and friends, but they bore me. And with that lack of inspiration I went to business school. It was my unofficial minor in German Studies that saved my sanity and my life. While on academic exchange in Switzerland I took an English Literature course and it was everything that I was missing in my life. There is no pragmatism in forcing yourself to study what you don't enjoy. Study whatever you want in University, it is your life, not your mother's. With self-reflection I understood that my belief that I could be a journalist was thwarted by a belief system imposed on me since childhood. My beliefs from my environment and my upbringing. Belief that journalists lack integrity. That they will do anything to sell the story and get the scoop.
Journalism was not a respectable profession in post-Soviet Russia, either because journalists weren't genuine or because journalism was seen as a disengenuous profession. Journalists told uncomfortable truths and it is dangerous to make someone uncomfortable. In 1990s assassinations were common and so were mishaps with balcony railings.
The naysayers burried my dreams of writing and journalism. Children are impressionable products of their environment. The repeated messaging from my parents and family friends created doubt. "Do not be this". No alternative was offered so I entered the stream of life and let it take me with it. I was no longer in control. That's how I ended up in an uninsiprising business school and then in multitude of dead end jobs. That's why I sabotaged my career progression every chance I could. I scoffed every time someone referred to my work as a "career". It was not a career true to my identity. It wasn't my choice. I fell into tech. I fell into sales. I didn't want to be there. I didn't belong.
My belief system was blocking any forward momentum going towards something I wanted to do. I lacked the understanding of the mind and the tools to push through. My profession bore me. It was a means of receiving an income to pursue other areas in my life that were exciting like extreme sports and travel.
Now I know. I know that I can choose what to do with my life. I can go after and get anything I truly desire as long as I pick something that really matters to me. Something I really want. No matter how outlandish the idea, I will go after it. In fact, the more outlandish the better because it will make me grow. That outlandish idea is to write. To report. To be a journalist. To tell stories.
I missed my unabashed teenagers years. I must practice now. So I will write 10,000 posts of bullshit to practice the craft and become an expert. I'm at 40 now. I got a long way ahead of me. I will keep writing even if it is just one view on a post. Probably it's my own. My results don't control me.
So begone generalizations. Be gone negative brain storming sessions with those who know nothing. I choose what I want to do and what I want to do is write. I'll fill my days with research and reading. I'll follow every rabbit hole that my inspiration throws at me. I'll write and I will wash away 15 years of grime from working for someone else.