Following a different path

Some people are lucky enough when they are school to know what they want to do with their lives. The majority don’t, or think they do but circumstances change. People change. You don’t have to pick one path and stay on it, in fact I think taking a wander down different avenues every now and then can be good for you, and here is why…

I was going to be a nurse. Or a doctor, either would do. I had seen the Young Doctors on TV and knew instantly that was my calling. I am now a freelance writer. Slightly off the medical track but that doesn’t matter, I’m where I need to be and where I want to be. Will I always be here? I think so, I hope, but who knows where life will lead me.

When I left school I was already working several shifts a week at a local nursing home. I absolutely loved the work but hated the wages, the lack of scope for progression and the bitching (anyone who has worked in a predominately female setting will understand what I mean, unless they have been very lucky!). I spoke to the RAF about joining up and doing my nursing through them, all boxes were ticked apart from the one that said I had to be free of asthma symptoms for a minimum of three years. That was a no go then.

Then I moved to the National Autistic Society. I can’t explain the sense of fulfilment this work gave me. Determined to move up “the chain”, I under took part time university classes in my own time, gained managerial qualifications, counselling qualifications and took on so many more courses that interested me and that would get me where I wanted to go. I loved it and before I had Kieran was in a fantastic position, earning a good wage and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Then I resigned.

Once Kieran came along my priorities shifted dramatically. I couldn’t work 60hr weeks anymore, I couldn’t keep going at the pace I had been. And to be honest, I didn’t want to. To be completely honest the decision to give up my career was done with no forward planning, I just knew it wasn’t for me and my family any more and fortunately my husband supported me fully in this.

I had to do something, so I did all sorts. I was an Avon lady, I co-ran a small event company with a friend and then I started my own Usborne Books business. I loved the freedom that went with this, and very quickly built my own team. Before long I had a downline of over a hundred and a half decent amount of money coming in. I followed this path for over three years, then for various reasons moved over to another book company but to be honest, my heart just wasn’t in any more. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. Now what?

I followed my heart. No ladders, no restrictions, just me and my dream. Writing. I’d been doing odds and sods for some time on top of everything else but it was time to bite the bullet and give it a go full-time. I have to say, I had a lot of encouragement from my husband and my best friend, Natalie. Both of them gave me the proverbial kick up the backside and here I am. People pay me to write. I am a freelance writer. It still doesn’t sounds real sometimes, but it is, and I’m living my dream. I write copy, I ghost write, I have various ongoing projects at any given time and I absolutely love it. I’m working from home full-time (which is perfect as I now have another son who is at home!), and am really happy with how it’s going.

The point of this piece is to show you that nothing is rigid, nothing is forever. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to try different paths. You might be surprised about where it takes you!

This is a guest post by Nicki Cawood, Freelance Writer and blogger at Curly & Candid

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