Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Drifting...

Unlike a lot of these Listserve emails we get, I have nothing really of use to share with you. There is no uplifting message and no important lesson that can help you have a better life.

I am 41 years old and for the last eight years I have been happy with my life. What about the previous 33 years, you may ask? Well, they were okay, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had pretty much drifted through life without any goals, or at least, none that had stuck. But for the last eight years I have been working at my dream job and I simply stumbled into it.

You see, I love cars. Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with them, probably before I can remember as well.

For the past eight years I have had a job where car manufacturers give me brand new cars to drive for a week so I can write about them. They fly me all over the world to exotic locations, put me up in five-star accommodation, feed me the finest cuisine and ply me with the best booze. I am one of the luckiest bastards in the world, and I will still criticise the iPod interface in their newest car.

I am a motoring journalist and have what I consider to be one of the best jobs to have ever existed, especially for someone who loves cars (and booze). It was my dream job when I was young and I first found out there was such a thing as a “motoring journalist”.

When I did, I was in awe - people were actually paid to drive cars and write about them? That has to be the ultimate job, my nine-year-old mind muttered to itself. That would be freakin’ AWESOME...

Then, because I was nine, my mind scampered off to think about other nine-year-old boy things, like what would happen if you put the cat in the washing machine (you bleed quite a lot and the cat never goes in) or what the inside of the digital clock looks like (pretty much exactly like a broken digital clock) and the idea of writing about cars became a distant dream.

But here’s the really annoying part for anyone who is driven, highy-motivated and chases determinedly after their dream: I didn’t get this job by charging after it in a focussed fashion, studying journalism and reading everything I could about cars. I didn’t relentlessly harass editors and publishers to let me write about cars for them. Nope, like all the best things that have ever happened to me, it just happened when I was least expecting it.

Eight years ago I was in the right place at the right time and after 33 years of basically drifting through life was offered my dream job. At the time I had six months experience writing for a tiny local newspaper on a part-time basis and was living at home with my mother.

Now I do something I love. I don’t live with my mother anymore either (but I still vist regularly!).

Sure, the stress levels get pretty high around deadline time and being a freelancer means you pretty much have to be constantly on the lookout for work, but the payoff is a job and a lifestyle I truly love and look forward to every day.

Like I said at the start; no messages, no lessons. Just the thought that sometimes drifting through life can lead to very good things indeed.

Damien O’Carroll
damien[AT]oversteer.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand

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