Castles in the sky

There’s a fine line between optimism and irrationalism, and I think most of us are a little unclear on where one ends or where the other starts. One memorable incident that I experienced some time back illustrates this perfectly, 

Story goes that I was talking to a friend who would be soon kickstarting a freelance career of her own, having already worked several years in the field of her expertise. Hers is a different industry from mine, of course, but having tried to do a bit of a freelance stint in the past, I had this inherent belief that it wouldn’t be easy for her to start things off. Nevertheless, throughout this particular conversation that I had with her, I remained positive and encouraging about her choice of a career move. 

After all, I had always dreamed of someday moving on into a freelance career of my own.

In the course of our chat, I mentioned to this friend that should I ever get my way to earn money in the field of my choice, I would have loved to craft custom made bags in the same manner that a tailor would custom make clothes for his/her customers. 

I had expected that she would have been encouraging at the very least, since this was in essence not that far a cry from what she herself was opting to do in the near future. But surprisingly, she was more pessimistic about my dream career direction than she was about her own. 

She even went as far as to say she didn’t think there was a very promising market for such handcrafted bags. It was awfully disheartening to hear her bash my dreams down to a pulp. Even more so since I had just seconds ago been so supportive of hers. 

I doubt she was being spiteful in what she had said in response to my sharing. But nevertheless, the effect was a negative one and that’s probably why I remember that incident to this day. 

Honestly, this doesn’t feel that much different from how I used to feel whenever I considered the possibilities of becoming a writer for a living. Back in the earlier seasons of my life, I deemed it almost an impossible feat. I had had very limited exposure to publishing in general, and hadn’t ever won a single essay competition in school nor had I even joined a student editorial body to learn some of the ropes. 

In other words, I had no track record or glowing portfolio with which to convince others that I could do a decent job writing, And yet, to cut the long story short, I have actually become a writer by profession today.

Well, I have yet to earn a single Ringgit from anything I have handcrafted, but who knows what the future may hold? I think what’s important here is not to entirely rule out the possibility. 

For now, I just glean inspiration from posts about other crafters who have made it in monetising their passion just like this one: Top 10 Malaysian handicraft makers.


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