I have a picture window in my living room. It’s about 4 feet by 8 feet. Sometimes I stand in front of it, drinking coffee, watching the neighborhood, staring at my gardens. Sometimes I gaze at my neighbors' houses, catch a glimpse of a dog moving in the curtains, watch birds peck seed from a bird feeder. Or I notice some mundane detail, like a new basket of flowers hanging on the porch.
This window offers me a perspective. It’s a perspective I like. But I realized, the other day, that this perspective is limited.
Noticing one of my neighbors was outside, I walked across the street to talk her. Standing in her yard, I glanced over at my own house. And for a moment, I was in awe. It looked completely different than it did in my head.
I realize I’m bordering on being cliché here, but as I thought about this moment later, I was amazed at how I could live inside something for so long, day in and day out, and never realize what it truly looks like. Everyone else knows what my house, gardens, trees, front door, driveway and porch truly look like, but because I’m in it every day, I don’t.
And I’ve realized life is like that.
Making the decision to quit teaching was hard. But in an unlikely turn of events, becoming a copywriter wasn’t.
It just happened. And the networking was easy. The work is enjoyable. I get a thrill when thinking about all the things I get to do now, on my own terms.
At the risk of cursing myself (earmuffs, Universe!), I keep thinking, “it can’t be this easy.” I’m astonished at how much work is out there if you just go after it. And I’m more astonished that people want me to do it.
I always secretly wanted to start a business. I’ve always talked about writing more. Now I get to do both. And so far, I’m pretty good at it.
And apparently no one is shocked by this, but me.
My wife tells me all the time that I sell myself short. That everyone knows such and such about me and that I need to start believing it too. I’ve always had a different version of myself in my head than others apparently have about me. Other people recognize things in me (and apparently never say them out loud) that I only hope for myself.
So I’ve realized that the last 8 years of teaching have been a little like the 5 years I’ve spent in this house. It’s really nice in here, but it sure is good to step out and get a different view of things.
Who knew everything looked so much better from the other side of the street?