Time well spent?

Recently, I have been asking myself again, has my time – my life – been well invested? Why have I put myself through another difficult, emotionally draining and – let’s face it – financially unrewarding decade?

If I was an outsider considering the pros and cons of writing, on the surface, I would conclude that Fran Macilvey is peculiarly driven: to work early or late; at any rate, while her family sleeps; driven to continue with the next project, the next hope, despite setbacks, illness and puzzlement from those more sober and grounded citizens of her acquaintance who really would prefer that she apply her energies to a proper, reasonable, sensible and obvious job. Why, for goodness’ sake, must she always be different?

Because I am, is all. I make that sound nonchalant, easy to say. But if my life has taught me anything, it is the total futility of trying to keep up with other ‘ordinary’ people who have ‘ordinary’ jobs. I’ve tried that – really, I have – and it has only led to heartbreak and losses of a different kind.

In the old days, the pain was about not belonging, never fitting in, and never really understanding what was going on; I had that sinking feeling which made it plain that I never would understand, no matter how hard I tried. Nowadays, though there have been a few disappointments and false starts, I am increasingly certain that I understand the basics of life, its purpose and meaning, and that I will continue to make progress. On my present path, every difficulty lends itself to a purpose, for a reason and I notice the ways in which unexpected outcomes serve a longer-term goal.

I write to share my experiences. I can write, and so I do. I can explain, and so that is my attempt, in the hope that those who may read my pieces know that I understand something of their loneliness, their anger, even their desolation. It is not unusual to have these feelings, it is not peculiar or suspicious. They are just part of life.

Gradually, writing has revealed that our ‘bad’ experiences can complement the ‘good’, making our lives a contrasting tapestry which, when we look back at it, hopefully fills us with gratitude and optimism. That is how I see myself making the best of life’s knots, at any rate.

Thanks for listening.

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