The Case for The Long Game

While I’ve taken some interviews and been hunting for work, the commuter’s 9-5 has never held great appeal, so between gigs I’ve been pondering alternative solutions.

Ones we can take with us when Bean’s course ends in two years and we are once again faced with option to uproot to new lives somewhere else.

They vary drastically from the plausible (creative consulting as I did in the UK) to the noble (starting a charity to help the homeless in our neighborhood — a brilliant endeavor to be sure, but not quite the quick-hit income solution which kicked off this thought-experiment) via the semi-absurd (perhaps I, the accident-prone and balance-less, should teach yoga?).

And yet.

I hit a fortnight and started to panic.

The window is shrinking.

Living on student loans is a terrible idea.


Cue hyperventilation.

I end at least one in three days convinced I will send us to rack and ruin if I don’t take a job at McDonald’s immediately.

And yet.

Somewhere in the midst of my mood-swing madness I have unexpectedly set in motion a chain of events I never could have foreseen.

In the last 48-hours three unexpected things have happened:

  • I’ been asked to meet with the President of the biggest Scottish association in America who’s keen to develop cross-continental cultural and business opportunities.
  • I was asked to serve on the future development committee of a huge and expanding children’s literacy charity.
  • A woman who interviewed me via Skype two years ago (I didn’t get the job) got in touch about a new opportunity she thinks I’d be right for.

Three things, which on the face of it, are serendipity and dumb luck.

Three total strangers contacted me out of the blue; wanting me to get involved, offering me chances to do things I enjoy (and possibly even get paid for it).

Isn’t that just the cat’s pyjamas.

And yet.

This didn’t happen on a whim of the gods.

  • What feels like a lifetime ago I sent out cold emails in a city where I have very limited experience, and someone bit.
  • I volunteered at a charity open day, and in openly offering my expertise to their staff, within an hour I found myself in a meeting with the Founder about their organizational development.
  • I kept in touch with someone (who rejected me and it stung) because I genuinely want to connect with her work.

In all three cases, somewhere down the dusty road of my life I started this process. I did something which brought these stars into alignment.

I put myself out there and made the effort, even when it seemed pointless or infinitesimal and the perceived value was entirely internal.

And yet.

This may all come to nothing.

It might be a total bust.

But looking back, I’m stupidly proud of the woman who took action a week or a month or years ago – that little things which felt scary and pitifully small have somehow flowered into prospects I’m actually interested in.

It’s freaking exciting to be on the cusp of new things. To meet interesting people and to feel like I genuinely have something to offer the world.

I’m mostly grateful. Even if none of them turn into six-figure gigs, I’m glad to see I’m spending my time making my world more fulfilling and increasingly in tune with my life goals.

Whatever happens from here, I don’t want to forget what can come of small connections and tiny kindnesses.

The other day I read an interview with the loveliest paper-maniac I know, Rachel Hazel – often a source of inspiration and astonishment when I’m doubting my own unique path through life.

When asked about the best advice she ever received, she said “The harder you work, the luckier you get”.

And today I count myself as one lucky son-of-a-gun.









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