When I was tricycle-riding age, I took to the road. I rode my tricycle to the top of my driveway and let her rip. I sped so fast that I had to lift my feet above the pedals to keep them from getting thwacked. It was a thrill. Perhaps my first one. Then I hit the loose sand at the bottom of the driveway with such a force that I flew off my bike and got the wind knocked right out of me.
When I was 55, I took to the road again. I left my career and home of 24 years and flew to Mexico to teach. One week after my year in Mexico ended, Learning Port offered me a job writing storyboards for e-learning modules. I flew halfway around the world to learn a new trade.
Was flying down the driveway on my tricycle an act of bravery, or an act of impulsivity? Was hopping on the plane to Mexico an act of bravery or an escape? Was ending my career as a teacher and coming to Kuala Lumpur to try e-learning a good choice? The answers are yes and no. Yes, because I was in a rut, I only have 30 years of living left in me, and it has been quite a ride. Regardless, these acts propelled me to make the conscious decision to become a writer.
As I settle into my second year in Malaysia, I have not found my comfort zone. Like the arduous climbing hikes I have been on lately, there have been peaks and valleys, which often leave me depleted. I look at the next year as a time to focus on learning how to write for a living. It will be a time for me to practice, experiment with different genres and employers, network, and do what I love.
I can see the bottom of the driveway, but like so many years ago when I sat on my tricycle seat at the top of the driveway, I cannot see the loose sand at the bottom Even if I could, I do not know if it will knock the breath out of me. What I do know is that falling off my bike at the end of the road is part of my learning curve. Maybe this time, I will wear a helmet.