Life is about making the most of every opportunity, even the much loathed junk mail, deluging through mail flaps each day, in blatant disregard of the polite yet clear signs, stuck on front doors, decreeing ‘NO JUNK MAIL, PLEASE’.
Out of sheer boredom, one Saturday morning I deigned to flicking through the mountain of bargains and freebies, languishing on our long-suffering doormat and a flimsy A5 pamphlet caught my eye. The Open University it appeared, were offering creative writing courses in October, seven months hence. How wonderful, I thought, wishing I were able to attend it. Given my sixteen hour a day job however, there was zero probability of that happening, so with a sigh, I threw the leaflet away but not before mentioning it to a friend. Wiser beyond her years, she told me to leave it to the universe, “what is meant to be, will be.”
Come Monday, immersed in work at the office as usual, I’d forgotten all about the course when something very unusual happened. For the first time in over a decade, it occurred to be me just how unhealthy and diminishing my chosen career had been. Where the rebellious thought came from is still a mystery, however no amount of reasoning, coaxing, arguing with myself would get rid of it. Much like changing the filter on a camera lens, one little thought, now firmly rooted, changed my perspective of long held views.
Over the coming months, what I’d previously assumed to be positive growth in my job, proved to be no more than my unquestioning acceptance of limiting traditions and debilitating rules, established since antiquity, in the corporate world.
Meanwhile, unhelpful ideas blossomed on the branches of the now flourishing tree in my mind. Can one truly thrive within the perimeter of restrictions and hierarchies? Is it possible to ‘think out of the box’, trapped within the walls of ‘this is how we’ve always done it here’?
My creative soul revolted to a point where I had to take a sabbatical from work to get my priorities in order. Coincidently, it happened to be in October, the same time as the writing course.