I’ve come to realize lately that things happen in their own time. No matter how much I want something, if it’s meant to happen, it will, no effort needed on my part. Other times, I might want something very much, but no matter how much effort I put into it, it just doesn’t happen – and trust me; this has happened a lot. Then again, something that I completely ignore might just flourish in front of my eyes, unexpectedly and effortlessly.
Following that, I think about how things have “happened” in my life, leading me to where I am right now. I studied civil engineering (my dad’s idea of a secure job) and in 1995 I went on to do a PhD in Digital Architecture (the only way for me to link my degree with two of my passions, design and computers). Hardly a month into the course, a professor asked me out of the blue to make a website for the department, from scratch. He gave me three days to do it; days I spent reading a lot, experimented quite a bit and pulling hair, until I did it, and my first website went live at the end of the 3-day period.
I’ve been working as a web developer for almost 20 years now. I still do, partly because I have to earn a living and partly because I’ve worked so hard to create Istomedia, my company, that I feel like it’s kind of a family member. Then, a couple of years ago, I realized that I had started losing patience: with clients, projects, designs, programming, the constant need for updating and upgrading and the 6-month life cycle of everything technological. I turned to writing as a relief, and realized, startled, that it was all I wanted to do.
Every now and again, I wonder whether my studies and everything I have worked for is going to waste. But I think not: my degree has helped me to study and organize my thoughts. My PhD taught how to properly research topics, question everything, look for new and different ways to achieve a result. My work has taught me how to market my book, design its cover, create the ebook file. Indie publishing requires the same skills: presenting myself and my work to potential clients, networking, promoting my creations, finishing a project within a deadline and a budget etc.
So, at 44, life has brought me where I am. All the things I’ve done, have arguably happened because I need them today. Which is why I try to practice nowadays what Tao Te Ching calls Wei Wu Wei – actionless action: the art of setting your destination and letting life take you there. It’s a nice concept, isn’t it?