Goodbye 2012

It’s the time of the year where we all celebrate the dawning of a new year. And this year we have an extra celebration because we didn’t all die on December 21 (yeah!).

I’ve been thinking back over the year, determining what worked and what didn’t. I like to think I accomplish something each year and not just take up space as I grow a year older. I like to think I did at least one thing worthwhile.

2012 for me was a year of change. I quit my job very late in 2011, walking away from a successful career as a Chartered Accountant. So, after ten years of full-time employment with the same place, I was a free woman for the first time since I was a teenager.

It was scary, probably the scariest thing I have ever done (except for entering the Mummy’s Tomb at Universal Studios – now that is scary). But I did it to change my life and I had faith that there was more to me than sitting in a cubicle day in, day out. I quit to write, to follow my dream (and I believe – my destiny), and follow my passion.

Don’t get me wrong, once upon a time I loved my job. I loved helping people, training my team, and the actual act of accounting. I still enjoy most parts of it. I met some wonderful people, some of whom are still my best friends today. But it was no longer my life and I knew it inside. My spark had burnt out and something had to change.

Some people called me crazy, others called me brave. I spent the year wavering between the two depending on my mood. Walt Disney’s quote “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” rang in an endless loop in my brain. I’m one of those stupid people that truly believe in fairy tales and I make no apologies for it.

So, with nothing but some savings, a dream, and hopeless optimism, I made the commitment to myself to be the writer I wanted to be. I started book number five and by the end of the year, I’m putting the finishing touches on book number eleven. Throw in six screenplays and I’d call it a good year.

Making the transition has been difficult. I got a lot of my self-esteem from my career and to turn my back on it meant… what? That I had somehow failed in the game of life? That I should have wanted to climb to the top of that ladder? Perhaps a year ago I would have said yes. Now, my answer is very different. You can’t measure your life based on someone else’s ruler. You have to live the life that is right for you. And no-one can make that judgement for another human being (except maybe a cat, they’re very judgemental).

So, as I look forward to 2013, I’m happy for the transformation of 2012. I’m happy I made the change and I have never regretted it for even a moment. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I know for certain two things: My name is Jamie Campbell and I am a writer.

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