Ignoring Sensibility to Chase the (Impractical) Dream

24 Feb

I quit job searching today.

Before you ask, the answer is no, I did not get hired today. I should have gotten a call if my most recent application was accepted. But there was no call. And I’m done applying.

You might wonder what this means. Why does one stop applying for jobs before one is hired for decent work? To be honest, I feel a little crazy myself. It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t sound practical. But it’s the plan at least for until I move in a few months. When I resettle, I will reevaluate.

Last night, I realized that I’ve tried to do at least 97 different things with all of my “free time.” It’s left me unfocused and exhausted, and I knew something had to change. I then asked myself what it is that I’m most passionate about pursuing in this awkward, transitional season of my life. Immediately, my newest book project came to mind. Huh, I thought. Why am I not focusing on that first?

The answer came easily: I’m afraid. I’ve dreamed about being a full-time author since I was a child, but growing up all but strangled that dream. My dad once told me I’d better get used to eating ramen noodles if that’s the career I wanted. To fully pursue freelance writing would mean taking huge risks. What if I run out of money while working on the book? What if a publisher never takes interest? What if I can never finish the book? Perhaps worse, what if the book is published but fails? What if no one but my mother reads it and all that time and effort was wasted for nothing? I’d just be one more unnoticed wanna-be living with her parents because she was too impractical to get a “real job.”

All those lurking fears had convinced me that I didn’t actually want to write full-time. They lied to me. And I believed them. “It’s just a pipe dream. You could never really do it, so what’s the point trying?” they said. “Try, and you’ll only fail.” So I let fear paralyze me.

But I’m tired of being afraid.

What would it look like if I redirected my energy primarily into the new book? I mean really dedicate myself to it, excluding lesser priorities? First of all, I’d have to reclaim time from any distractions. Such as the many hours spent every week in job searching, writing cover letters, fine-tuning my résumé, and submitting applications. Wasted hours. What have they given me but disappointed hopes for jobs I wasn’t excited about in the first place? If I want to be an author, it’s about time I act on it and stop looking for other opportunities. If I don’t, I may never know if it is possible.

It’s a step of faithBy continuing to job search, I’m only looking for security. I know my passion, but I’ve doubted God’s provision and guidance, anxiously trying to find some “reliable” income. As if God isn’t reliable enough. As if every calling from God looks sensible to the world.

If I waste my time, at least it will be wasted chasing the dream and not by scrolling through job listings. If it doesn’t work and the book fails, I only prove I’m human. If it turns out this isn’t my calling, then God will use even my mistakes to teach me. He won’t abandon me because I took a wrong turn.

I’m done job searching because I have a job. I’m an author.

Update (2/25): That last application I mentioned? I got the call today. It turns out the manager was sick yesterday, which explains why I didn’t hear from her. So now I have a part-time job to support me while also leaving me enough time to continue writing. God does indeed move in his own timing and have a sense of humor.


Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Authors, Other thoughts


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “Ignoring Sensibility to Chase the (Impractical) Dream

  1. Mr. Kite

    February 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Wow, that’s really inspiring. “As if God isn’t reliable enough.” I can’t help but feel like our parents’ generation put a whole lot of emphasis on finding a reliable job. Such an outlook almost seems to replace God with the need of finding a reliable job. On the other hand, perhaps they’re right.

    • Emily R

      February 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I think the American culture especially stresses the importance of independence, which means you need to have a steady job so you can pay your own way. Lift yourself up by the bootstraps, as it were. I believe that work ethic is a good value, but like anything else in life, it too can become idolatrous. If we’re not careful, we begin to trust in our own ability to provide and not in God’s. Suddenly we’re dependent on our jobs, not on God. Thank you for reading.

  2. Kristin

    February 26, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I’m proud of you, Emily. And praying for you 🙂

    • angelacuevas

      February 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Wow this is an inspiration. God is awesome! So glad to see Him working in this situation.

      • Emily R

        February 28, 2014 at 10:51 pm

        Thank you for reading!

  3. Judy

    February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I enjoy and look forward to reading everything you write. I am always blessed by your writing. You are an Author.

    If you read about the lives of successful people you will find that most of them failed before they succeeded. I let fear control me most of my life and as a result I felt pushed around by circumstance . I always felt something was missing, something was wrong. Going into my winter time of life, I reflect, I realize my children (my family) were my calling. Now as adults they bless me.

    You go fulfill your dreams, your calling. May God always bless you and use you to bless others.

    • Emily R

      February 28, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Thank you for always being there to support me. I couldn’t be who I am now without you. I’m so thankful that God has given me family and friends who encourage me to pursue my heart and not let fear hold me back.

  4. David W. Stewart

    May 26, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Been there, doing that. It took me seventy years and four “careers” to find that writing and publishing are my true callings. Trusting God is a big part of my story. Best wishes for your life and for others who are still searching.


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