I’ve just finished reading Jeanette Winterson’s moving memoir – Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? It was given to me by ‘Secret Santa’ at the work Christmas party in 2014. Thanks Santa, I know it’s taken me a year and a half to read it but now was the perfect time.
For the last couple of weeks, practically everyone I’ve met has been subjected to me saying that there’s this amazing passage (on pages 63 to 64) which sums up my life this year….
This is how it goes:
I have noticed that doing the sensible thing in life is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it.
And here is the shock – when you risk it, when you do the right thing, when you arrive at the borders of common sense and cross over into unknown territory, leaving behind you all the familiar smells and lights, then you do not experience great joy and huge energy.
You are unhappy. Things get worse.
It is a time of mourning. Loss. Fear. We bullet ourselves through with questions. And then we feel shot and wounded.
And all the cowards come out and say, ‘See I told you so.’
In fact, they told you nothing.
Last year, I left my job of ten years. It was my choice, I was excited about leaving, and I had a plan. But it’s actually been one of the toughest times of my life. And if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that in two weeks (actually in less than two weeks), I launch a new festival where my two worlds of the arts and IVF are going to collide. And if you ask me now what’s harder – running a big theatre with a multi-million pound turnover or a start-up festival that’s exploring an issue that for many people is still a taboo and a part of their life they quickly want to forget – then I have to say the latter. But as Jeanette Winterson says so beautifully, for the life-changing things you must risk it. Just be prepared that it’s going to be hard.