Post-Church “Life Changing Experiences”:
1) My dissatisfaction spread. My spiritual unrest led to dissatisfaction in other aspects of my life. No longer having the sense of meaning and purpose I’d had as a Christian in church, I became more aware of how unhappy I was at work.
I realised how much I’d sold myself short by remaining in relatively mundane office jobs in the decade or so since leaving school.
I’d tried to change career direction a few years before by starting, but not finishing, a Personnel Management course but after a successful first year I got “all spiritual” and dropped out because classes clashed with Wednesday evening church services.
My first post-church thought after deciding for a second time that I needed to change career direction was to restart the same evening course. I did even better the second time around, but after only half a year, I dropped out again.
However there was a big difference. It wasn’t so much an abandoning of study, I’d decided to go full time, and instead of Personnel Management at a Technical College, I was going to study Creative Writing at University.
2) I became a fulltime University student.
During the first week I was officially studying for a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in writing. But some of the requirements of that course weren’t to my taste. It involved elements of performance where scripts needed to be learned, and experience had shown me that memorising large chunks of text wasn’t one of my strong points.
In week two I switched to a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English literature and was still able to do all of the creative writing classes I wanted to do.
3) I graduated with a Distinction- High Distinction average. After graduation I started looking for a job, but this time I wanted something different to the admin/clerical work I’d done previously. Ultimately I wanted to be a novelist. The only ongoing ambition I could recall having, from childhood onwards, was to be a writer – hence the reason for my study path. But a living still needed to be made. A means of paying bills obtained. I sent out over a hundred applications for work with newspapers, magazines, publishers – anywhere that had something to do with writing. And I also doorknocked relevant companies after reading a recommended book about finding the ideal career.
No success. I even had one potential employer advising me to apply for work in heavy industry/manufacturing because that’s where my previous experience lay.
I eventually found work as a casual stock hand at a city department store. From there I was able to get a job with a publisher but in their accounts department. And later I found myself back in the same kind of jobs I’d left prior to going to university