The Big Break

Three years ago I was on the verge of graduating from University. It was something that one part of me knew I would inevitably do, and yet I was entirely unprepared for graduation. My classmates were less worried, engineers are pragmatic people with marketable skills. All of my circle of friends had had impressive stints during their co-op work placements and could easily get a job with their companies. My co-op experience on the other hand hadn’t really prepared me for much. I could’ve possibly found a position in the field, but had grown disenchanted with it after the 60-70 hour work weeks on rotating day/night shifts with homophobic contractors.

“It wouldn’t always be like that.” I said, lying to myself because I’m not the ambitious type who faces his problems head on. Instead of doing the rational thing and coming up with a plan to be gainfully employed, I listened to my heart like a big dumb-dumb and took a temporary job as a part time outreach worker at a non-profit. It was a blissful disappointment to my parents I’m sure, who assumed that I would be steadily employed building bridges and not handing out condoms at gay bars. To be clear, working in gay men’s health isn’t exactly like working in engineering, despite both having similar gender ratios.

It worked out well for me though, except that my contract end date drew near and I really didn’t have a new plan just yet. Instead, I dusted off my  finely honed undergraduate level procrastination skills and did some writing. It was nothing of importance, but I mentioned it to my boss and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing some writing. The website needed some new content for when it relaunched and I didn’t seem, totally bad at it.

I suppose this was the first real shot I had at being a writer and it happened mostly by chance. I guess I’m really fortunate for the opportunity. I don’t have any formal creative writing training. I didn’t have to apply, and would’ve likely been rejected if I had, which would’ve devastated me. Instead, by some happy coincidence, my boss took a chance on me.

And I proved myself, I suppose. Despite some turds throughout the years, I wrote some things that I was really proud of.  Three years later, I’m still there and while I’m doing less writing than I’d like sometimes it has lead to other fantastic opportunities.

This week’s craft Wednesday isn’t  really a link to some fantastic resource, instead it’s that we all need someone that believes in us (especially when we don’t believe in ourselves).

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