The second anniversary of The Y Variable passed a short while ago. Much has happened since the first upload to WordPress. The stream of posts has varied, dependent on the vagaries of life and my other creative endeavours – which I’m eager to show to the world – but one thing that has remained, is the satisfaction I get from sharing my conversational musings with you.
Below, a reflective piece that feels apropos, and that was written for a friend’s online ‘zine, which has yet to debut.
I wouldn’t say that I was struck suddenly by a need to change things in my life. It wasn’t overnight. I slowly drifted into the decision – a decision to make, what I call, a “course correction”. For an outsider though, I was probably living the dream. I volunteered with a variety of great organizations; I was working in a prestigious government department (I still do in fact); I had reputable degrees and distinctions; and I had the opportunity to work on high-profile projects – the kind that might cause some to consider selling out their own grandmother if it meant that they too could have the kind of exposure I had. But – and, of course, there’s always a “but”, isn’t there? – I wasn’t satisfied or all that content with where I had come in life. It’s not to say that I wasn’t (or am not) grateful for my experiences. I knew that I was in a great position in my career, as so many people would say this to me, but something didn’t feel right. For quite some time, I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a small round hole. It became clear to me that my 9 to 5 just wasn’t cutting it. I needed more.
I had this niggling feeling that required a response on my part. I had to address what was bothering me. Through some personal reflection and chats with numerous people I realized that I had embarked on a path that took me away from myself. I considered who I had been in university and I thought about the person I was when I was a child.
I came to realize that what I needed to do was tap back into my creative side and to carve out time to fulfill other aspects of my personality. When I thought of the people I admired most, the vast majority were in the creative fields and they were people who, despite the odds being against them, pursued their path wholeheartedly. I had always gravitated towards and loved writing and music, but I had set that aside to focus on a day job.
I knew that I wanted to occupy a space of beauty, art, imagination and originality and I realized that if I couldn’t find it at work, then I would have to create those conditions for myself outside of office hours. It started with getting back to a regular writing practice – my blog The Y Variable. Taking this initial step opened the door to other opportunities and experiences that I couldn’t have imagined back in 2012. Writing The Y Variable created an opportunity to blog for Huffington Post and to become a contributor to New Canadian Media.
You know the interesting thing about starting one creative endeavour? Others soon follow. You suddenly want to achieve more and continue setting the bar higher for yourself. If I could write and grow a following through my writing, why couldn’t I do the same with music? The reception I received from writing bolstered me and made me believe even more in myself and set goals that would get me closer to fulfilling things that were only in my mind’s eye or in my dreams. I booked a venue (with proceeds to go to charity), invited friends and colleagues, and developed a set list. To my astonishment and surprise, my musical experiment turned into a sold out show, created other opportunities to perform around town, and led me to compose original material.
Taking these creative steps has generated this wonderful snowball effect. I haven’t yet cut the 9 to 5 ties, but maybe the snowball will grow so big I’ll have no choice but to break loose.