"You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety." — Abraham Maslow
As I read the quotation, I felt it prick my soul. How very true those words were for my life. I'd always been a person who needed safety and security. I'd always found comfort and solace in the known. The unknown, however, always tempted me with curiosity and a hint of danger, but more often than not, I opted for stability and routine. My type A personality enjoyed the control of knowing what lay ahead.
For the past 7 years, I did freelance writing for a cancer publication. It was a huge blessing in so many ways. It provided an outlet for me to discuss all aspects of my cancer journey and gave me a huge perk of getting paid for sharing those experiences. When the 7th year rolled around, I felt I'd said all I had to say about the subject. I was tired of cancer and found myself dreading coming up with articles for the magazine. After some serious thinking, I felt my time with the magazine was over. I submitted an official resignation letter along with a debt of gratitude. Wishing them well, I opted out and decided to spend more time focusing on enjoying life. As I left my thoughts about cancer behind, I felt lighter.
About six months passed and I began to get itchy. I needed something to do. I felt like I was wasting my days piddling around doing crafts, cleaning house, and doing some yard work. I needed a purpose and so, I contacted the magazine to see if they might be interested in me working for them again. They responded immediately and gave me a positive response. They'd missed my submissions and would be happy to have me back. I was glad to hear it and began writing for them again. But this time, things felt differently. There had been several staff changes and the editor I'd worked with in the past had left the company. They'd also taken on more freelance writers making the odds of being published much slimmer. They'd even sent out a notification that the "pot was full of submissions so it would take time to get each writer's work up." We were expected to be patient and understanding.
I was used to having at least 4-5 articles published each month and suddenly, I'd been cut down to 1-2. That meant my income from the freelance work had been greatly reduced. That income supplemented my social security check and it hurt to have it cut so drastically.
Even though the workload had been greatly reduced, I still enjoyed writing and kept going. I submitted 4-5 articles each month and waited for them to be published. In the past, I'd always get a quick reply from the editor thanking me for my submissions and shortly after she'd received the work, it would be published. But now, I'd check the magazine every few days only to find none of my work being published. Wondering why, I contacted the new editor. She gave me the same spiel as before, "We have so many submissions..."
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I should have never gone backward. When I decided my time writing for the magazine was over, at the 7-year mark, I should have stayed away. 7 is the number of completion - my work was done, but no...I couldn't let it go.
Now I'm seeing clearly that my time writing for that publication is over. I just need to find a new outlet for my creative juices to flow.
It's hard to let go of something you love but as the quote says, I need to move forward for growth.
Who knows where the Lord will take me. I'll wait for the next door to adventure to open. Until that time, I'll focus more on my blog and other things I enjoy.
Too bad the magazine has so many other contributors now! I enjoyed that extra income, but c'est la vie!