Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you and your loved one(s) are having a wonderful day as you take time out to tell each other how you feel. But equally important, I hope each and every one of you reading this takes some time out today to love yourselves. You’re all worth it.
This is my second Valentine’s Day with The Boy, and I just remembered not that long ago that it was last Valentine’s Day when we officially decided we were A Thing. We went from “friends” to “dating” in December, so that’s when our Official Anniversary is, but it wasn’t until the following Valentine’s Day last year that we decided we were in it for the long haul.
Here’s a photo from December, when we first started seeing each other at a friend’s birthday party in December 2012 before we were official-official, when we were still figuring out what we were and he was totally feeling me up during the party and NOT AT ALL BEING A GENTLEMAN. That’s OK, though. I didn’t mind. *squee*
And here’s us today – well, two nights ago when The Boy surprised me with an early Valentine’s Day dinner, because he’s working on a film today (he’s a production sound mixer, FYI):
So…he has much less facial hair now, but we’re still very much in it for the long haul.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the notion that, when you make the decision that’s actually right for you and reflects your true, deep-down values and desires, everything else in your life starts falling into place. While I’m certainly not one to say that “All you need to do is find a relationship and you’ll totes be happy” (because that’s not true for everyone – derf), I am saying that generally, whenever I’ve followed something that my instinct told me was right – even if it scared me – not only has it turned out to be the right decision, but it also opens up other opportunities and bits of amazingness that might not have come around otherwise.
For example, I think I’ve mentioned here before that, at first, I wasn’t sure of The Boy, or how long we were gonna last. I even tried to break up with him at one point (*gasp*), but I decided to stay, because something about the way he handled my fear of a relationship and the kind of person he is made me think that, as scared as I was of “something serious,” this guy was worth sticking with after all. One anniversary and two Valentine’s Days later, I still feel that way.
But this isn’t just limited to my romantic life. Going with my gut has opened doors in my professional life, too. Most recently, I left my most time-consuming day job – a job that I was very grateful for at the time. Hey, it allowed me to survive for a year and change – and while I still have one non-writing-related day job left, it’s only once or twice a week, and it’s not a job that requires the kind of energy that should be going to my writing instead. Once I made the decision to leave the bigger day job, I got the blogging gig for Hot Pixel, I got a freelance assignment from Latina Magazine (coming in the May 2014 issue), I had a piece accepted by Jezebel (also, coming soon), was asked to participate in the latest Mad Norwegian Press pop culture anthology, and I got an opportunity that will allow me to monetize my writing about topics/issues I care about (stay tuned for deets about all of that!). For the first time ever, I’m spending more of my time, and making more of my money, writing than not. AND, I’ve completed ten episodes of Incredible Girl (100 or so pages of awesomeness), completed an original pilot with my writing partner, started a solo pilot script, and am in the process of writing two specs of existing shows (one solo, the other with partner), to shop around to fellowships and agents. All while being able to pay rent and bills (albeit in installments, thanks to The Boy).
Following this writing thing wherever it leads, I’ve not been led astray.
So, yeah, I’m a big fan of instinct. This isn’t to say you should follow your instinct at the expense of common fucking sense. After all, if it’s a choice between waiting for your dream job and eating today, by all means, EAT TODAY. Eat today and live to write another page! But if you’re at a place where you’re thinking about taking a leap in order to follow the thing you know you were born to do, career-wise or otherwise, remember that no matter what your financial situation, you can always make a plan that’ll make following your dream doable if you stop for a minute and think about it. And if you fall flat on your face, guess what? You can always change your mind/come back/have someone throw you a rope so you can climb back up the faith you just took a leap of.
But usually, your gut keeps pointing you in a direction, because that’s the direction in which you’re supposed to be traveling. And when you stop fighting it and just go, it all falls into place.