Light at the end of the tunnel?

The Return from Jason Robbins on Vimeo.

 Sometimes I’m not sure whether I reveal too much or too little on this blog. It can be hard to get the balance right. But seeing as it’s a place for me to thrash out thoughts, ideas and, well, stuff, I think it’s not totally inappropriate to let you guys in on where I’m at right now and how I’m feeling. Too much? Ach, who knows!

Anyway, I’m now into the eleventh month of my life as an intern. A 31 year old intern. Ahem. As much as it kills me to even think it, let alone dwell on it for any length of time, I cannot get away from the fact that I have chosen to ‘start over’ at an age where most people are buying houses and having kids. A sorry and at times depressing state of affairs that, to be perfectly honest gets me really down. I keep thinking about the choices I’ve made along the way and how foolish I’ve been to believe that things will just work themselves out. I used to really believe that. Back when I had a little thing called faith.

Now, I’m not talking about God, religion or any kind of higher power here. I’m purely referring to that self belief that drives one to make crazy decisions – like say, giving up on a career to pursue a dream. The faith in ones ability that reckons nothing or nobody can stand in your way and you’re damn well going to succeed no matter what. Yeah, that kind of faith.

And it’s not just faith in myself that’s been rocked. Even though I’ve known this for years now, I don’t think it’s ever been more apparent than now that no-one (read NO-ONE) is going to help you win this game. The sad fact is you’re on your own. Sure, your Husband, family and friends will always be cheering you on from the sidelines but they can’t run, let alone win, the race for you.

Here’s the thing. Being good at something and working hard at it does not equal success. Fact. In my 31 years on this planet, this is the one difficult lesson I have had to shallow time and again. My bright and cheery disposition has been rocked so many times, picking myself up off the floor and dusting myself down has simply become par for the course. As an actor, I was the only performer I knew who could take rejection on the chin without so much as a flicker of emotion and just move on to the next audition with even more enthusiasm than before. It came with the job. I knew that. I accepted it. I was even fine with it.

Now though? This is different. It’s Personal. I take every sniff of a rejection personally.Too personally. Where’s my goddamn valour when I need it?! Ultimately, it’s survival of the fittest – this is a motto I carried with me during my years as a struggling actor. I just don’t know if I have any fight left in me or if I should just meekly return to Cornwall, open my vintage store, have a family and a simpler life. Is it really worth it, I keep asking myself?

Something that often pops into my mind when I’m going through my ‘minor blue periods’ is this John Lennon quote….

when i went to school, they asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up. i wrote down ‘happy’. they told me i didn’t understand the assignment. i told them they didn’t understand life.

I often need reminding that happiness really is the key to life. But what if your professional success is the key to happiness?

Right now, I’m still battling to be seen, heard and hired, and I’ll continue to until I get somewhere. Heck, in some ways I shouldn’t be complaining – in fact, with back to back internships, some would say I should be laughing. But it’s that one entry level PAID job I’m after. That first rung on the ladder that I’m busting to get my foot on. Deep down I know I’m good enough and if I can just cling on to that last remaining, dwindling bit of hope, I might just have enough left in me to make this crazy ‘career change’ business work. By golly, they don’t make it easy though.

11 responses to “Light at the end of the tunnel?”

  1. Laura Eagladn says:

    It’s never too late! Be seen, be heard, be hired! I absolutely love your blog! It’s so inspiring and I know plenty of people who have ‘started over’ as you put it who are much older than yourself. In fact I’m trying to do the same 🙂 I have my fingers crossed for you but I honestly don’t think you need it. With you I would say there is without a doubt light at the end of the tunnel. Look forward to the next blog!

  2. I absolutely agree with everything Laura commented!

    My husband is going through similar feelings yet the exact opposite situation right now, he at 32 has absolutely no idea what it is that he wants to do, he worked at a hospital for 10 years and was about to get laid off during the recession but was able to transfer to another position last minute, little did he know he would have to schedule abortions in this position, after 3 weeks of absolute depression and physical illness due to this job he quit and we moved in with my in laws. He was only able to get a sales position at a skate/surf shop, he worked his way up fast, became the skate buyer for 9 stores and was offered a $50.000 a year position as a rep for a skate distributor. He took it thinking that’s what he’d been working so hard for all along…turns out he had to leave the house before the kids were up and got home while they where asleep, sat in traffic 4 hours a day, etc…. He ended up going back to the skate/surf shop, only his position had been filled and he became an assistant manager making $11.50 an hour. So now he’s trying to figure out what it is that he really wants to do in life, and try to work towards that. (we both know we want to open a shop but it’s just not realistic for us)

    No matter what the road is you take it’s hard and it beats you down from time to time, but you’ve already found the light, it’s just a matter of getting there 🙂

    And hey….if you do decide to open up that shop, I’ll be happy to move to Cornwall 🙂

  3. SORRY! I didn’t realize how long my comment was! oops


  4. peasoupeats says:

    Haha, I like long comments:) I’m not surprised your Husband had to leave that job – that sounds like a hardcore thing to deal with on daily basis. I really hope he figures out what he wants to do, sometimes that can be half the battle – the other half is getting hired, it would seem! Your words mean a lot and you never know, I may just open up that shop yet….;)

  5. Bianca says:

    whatever it is that is causing you stress, anxiety, and frustrations, I hope that it will pass. I hope you continue to listen to your heart and that your faith continues to grow strong and not weak.

    good luck to you! who says its too late to make a life changing career! it never is…

  6. peasoupeats says:

    Thank you Bianca:) I must say, even writing this post has helped a little. I’m hanging in there – getting hired come hell or high water!

  7. Lucy says:

    Hey Aine! Sorry to hear you are feeling like you have let yourself down – maybe I can give you a different perspective on it. I was a pretty ambitious career-minded person when we left London for Sweden 4 years ago but starting from scratch in a new country and learning a new language has meant I’ve ended up in a similar position to you. Luckily I’ve moved to a country with a completely different attitude to work-life balance. People don’t identify 100% with their careers like they do in the UK and they certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that you are a failure if you don’t have a “successful” career. Home-life and personal happiness are number 1 and work is just a means to this end. Obviously I really hope it works out for you in London, you have a great talent for writing which is definitely worth pursuing. But DON’T get sucked into feeling like a failure if you decide to make a go of it somewhere else. I think in a lot of ways it takes MORE guts to reject these values and put your own happiness first. Good luck! 🙂 Lucy

  8. peasoupeats says:

    Lucy, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this. I struggle so much with feeling like a failure, which definitely does affect my overall happiness. Our year in Cornwall taught me that there can be a different way and just knowing I have options helps me put things in perspective. I’ve decided to give myself a realistic time frame in which to ‘achieve’ what I set out to but I’m not going to dedicate my thirties to it the same way I did with acting in my twenties. Just like you said, there are more important things in life. Thanks so much for commenting, I really do appreciate it. Sounds like Sweden agrees with you anyway – I can’t believe it’s been four years! God, time flies, doesn’t it? xxx

  9. Harmony says:

    Dear Kindred Spirit, I feel the exact same way. I ran a restaurant and then got married and realized I could only be married to one thing/person so I quit my job and am finding a new direction for myself at 30! I feel a little like I’m barely treading water, and am totally insecure when people ask “what do you do?” because my part-time gallery job is not substantial in any way. I also went down the unpaid intern route, being older than the woman I was under. I feel like we have a special chance of knowing what we want now and being able to pursue it now. You are so gifted and people will see that. Keep going after what you want, even if it only ends up being having a vintage store! (which is a dream of mine) There is NOTHING meek about that! Don’t give up hope on your fellow man, yes we are hired/fired on our own merit, but I wouldn’t have any of the jobs I have had without knowing someone and I’ve also helped lots of friends get work. I wish you great success, and loads of happy days.

    Ps. I’m coming to London this October for my sister’s birthday and if I see you on the tube I will approach you and say hello, so be warned.

    • peasoupeats says:

      Wow Harmony, what a really thoughtful comment – it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has started over. I can’t tell at this stage how all this will turn out for me but for now I am feeling more positive about my future. Thanks so much for your encouraging words, they really make a difference. And yes, if you do happen to see me when you’re here (stranger things have happened!), please do say hello!

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