Thursday, February 12, 2009

Letting go and starting a new adventure

The decision to let go of something that's been with you for a long time (in this instance, 5 years) is never an easy one to make. You started the relationship, developed and nurtured it to its optimal potential and then painfully watch it deteriorate despite your efforts of keeping it alive. It breaks your heart to the point that you have to get a firm grip of yourself and say enough is enough. You just have to be resolute to make the decision to end it and move on.

Before I am flooded by email messages and phone calls from concerned friends, I'm not referring to my marriage with DH! Now, everyone, pause for a sigh of relief. I'm referring to an online business venture which I started 5 years ago. I was excited about its potential and eagerly worked on it with all my heart and soul. The business never brought me a steady income but I kept telling myself to keep it running, in hope that things will turn around. For the past year and a half, there were virtually no customers but I still incurred the cost of keeping the venture alive.

So, after having a long chat with a friend/adviser on Tuesday night, about the pros and cons of maintaining the business or ceasing its operations, I've made the decision to end it. It's painful but it's better to let it go, both for my financial and mental health. Otherwise, it will be a constant reminder of how I've failed and a stumbling block preventing me from moving on.

On that night itself, I've also made a decision to start something new. It's not a rebound, like when you start a relationship with a new person after you've ended a painful one with your existing partner, in order to replace the comfort and warmth that you miss so much. You close your eyes and persuade yourself to believe this time, it will work even though you know the new person is not the right fit for you. No, this is something I've always wanted to do but haven't got the guts or confidence to take the first step to embark on it. DH is fully supportive of this. He's the one who found the ad in the newspaper last month and has been encouraging me since; to just sign on and get started.

You would have laughed at me if you knew how many times I took the credit card out from my wallet and put it back in! I walked to and fro in the room, struggling internally to make up my mind. Deep down inside, I know this is what I want to do, something that excites me but I have this fear that I will not be able to see it through given how stretched I am with my job and family commitments. In a moment of clarity, I realised that my only obstacle is my own self doubt. If I don't give myself a chance to see where this will take me, who would??

I finally made the payment at around 11pm in the quiet of the night, as though I needed to do this in the privacy of my room without any prying eyes! I signed up for an online writing course. It's flexible distance learning and the course fees are very reasonable. I'm allowed 4 years to complete the course of 30 modules and if I don't earn the course fee back during that time, I get a full refund (there are conditions, of course! The primary one is that I submit my writing to legitimate publications and provide evidence that the works were rejected despite my efforts to get published). I'm not concerned about earning back my course fees or even getting published. I just want to have a personal breakthrough and put my best foot forward on this endeavour. It would definitely be exciting and challenging and I'm sure there will be moments of heartache and frustration just like any meaningful path in life that you fully commit yourself to.

The end result, my goal? I want to look at myself in the mirror at the end of this course and say, "I'm proud of you. You worked hard and now, you've proven to yourself that you are a writer." It would be nice to be able to earn a living from it too but that is an added blessing and not my motivation for this life adventure of mine.

PS: I have started reading Modules 1 and 2 of the course in the train on my way to work today.

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