Where we live there are these less than pleasant weeds called goat-heads. As their name implies they are sharp and pointy like a goat's horns. Unfortunately they don't have the animal's habit of keeping grass short or they wouldn't be such an annoyance.
They are hard to get rid of and tricky to see. Goat-head thorns attach themselves to the soles of shoes and the little demons end up being transported onto our soft carpet. There they bury themselves in deep waiting for an unsuspecting foot.
At least this is what I image they do. It's hard to think of them as anything other than a demon when I step on one. The pain is quick. It jolts me out of my previous thoughts. There is usually some literally jolted as well when my foot instinctively jerks away from the goat-head.
The pain strikes a nerve and yanks me out of my previously comfortable moment*. It causes me to pull out the vacuum and go over the carpet several times to suck the little monsters up.
While annoying, the sharp pain does cause me to jump to action. As a writer I've had similar experiences to stepping on a goat-head. It's like a pin that swiftly pricks at my thoughts. That feeling that I've let myself get comfortable with my excuses.
In December I had the fortunate opportunity to interview Valerie Cameron-Walker for UGeek Magazine**. She is a film maker and events coordinator for Fantasy Con. During her career she has become quiet accomplished in the arts. As she told about her past experiences as a dance instructor, volunteer and promoting companies Valerie mentioned something which hit me hard.
She said that sometimes people get stuck because they have a certain plan or path***. For example a person might expect to take film classes, graduate, work on a small film, then a larger one and on and on. This linear success rarely happens in the real world though.
To succeed a person should be willing to build their resume helping other people with their projects. This in turn creates friendships, connections and opportunities.
It caused me to reflect on my own career path. I had become so stuck in going from point A to point B. Anything less than that felt like a failure or unimportant. Lately I've realized that I have to rethink my goals and be more flexible. This openness has given me several opportunities I wouldn't have come across otherwise. One of which includes being able to post on this amazing blog with so many talented women.
Have you ever taken a job or volunteer opportunity which ended up helping you with your career? Maybe it gave you a new friend or way of looking at the world. I would love to hear about it.
* If you've never stepped on one, imagine stepping on an invisible pin cushion.
**An Indy Magazine about geeky/nerd culture
***Note that there aren't any quotation marks. That's because I am paraphrasing.