THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING
Every dream has in common a beginning and an end. It starts with the day one makes a concrete choice to follow their dream and the day the dream ends in reality – when a person pursued the dream till it was realised. In my previous article I shared with you my battle of circumstance and choice, to take a risk to follow my dream. Part of that risk was to make a choice, but before I made that choice I was in denial and in need of a serious wake-up call, the beginning of the beginning.
So I was back in South Africa from a 3 month volunteering program in Israel. My mom said that I needed to move forward, my dad said to go back to the familiar. So I went back to my old job and my old life. During that first couple of months I tried to get my old life back as much as I could… the life before Israel. That turned out to not be a confidence builder at all. My old job took me back, but only because they needed people not because they really wanted me back. You see when you move away from what God wants, it’s all on you: to proof yourself, your worth and why you are needed. Especially since I was not really wanted. But the industry I had worked in had a shortage of programmers, so my odds improved.
What was the beginning then? I was working in IT (Information Technology) in the ERP (Enterprise Recourse Planning) sector as a programmer. Life was good. I was going to start my own business, be married to the girl of my dreams at 28 and so on and so forth. So why did this all change? When I was in school I had a dream to become and actor. Yes, I was one of those. But that dream was short lived. My father did not want to pay for me to pursue a career in acting, for one, because he did not think I had what it took to study for a degree at a University and Technikon was cheaper. I wanted desperately to gain his approval, so I turned my back on the calling God had for me. In his defence he did pay for a business diploma at the same Technikon but inevitably I left to become Microsoft certified developer as I was not happy with what I was doing. So fast forward 5 years and I am starting to peak in my field as a developer. Then God interrupted my plans to remind me of the calling and the desire He had for me because He is a good Father, even if He interrupts our seemingly happy lives.
After a long project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, I was asked to be part of a team that was going to help implement an upgrade at a client near Johannesburg. I moved back to old “Jo’ies”. I was back in with my parents to save some money on rent. Like I said, things where going great but little did I know my life was about change. One night while watching Hollywood E-News on DSTV the idea started to form in my head… or maybe it was my heart. I would like to travel and go see the world. Maybe my life is to cosy? I need some adventure. So I applied to a couple of jobs all over the globe in my field. Only one company got back to me when I applied, and although their time for applications was closed they looked at my CV anyway. I had nothing to lose . So as God would have it or not if you believe in such things, that company flew me all the way to Simi Valley in California. The long and short of it was that I didn’t get the job which in turn took me on the path to Israel which in turn got me thinking about my life and where I was headed.
During my time in Israel I realised that I did not want to be a programmer for the rest of my life. Two great opportunities presented themselves in Israel for a life in the creative arts but I turned them down. So, back from Israel, back in my old life, somewhat? Back at turning away from the dream on God’ s calling.
A year went by so I kept busy taking guitar lessons and art classes because the part of me in my denial was reaching out even at that point when I was not even considering going into film yet. I also figured that I liked drawing so I was contemplating animation as a career. So, hold up. After all this you still had no clue…, why? If you deny a dream for a very long time the delusion becomes very strong and it was difficult to recognise what was happening in the moment. Growing up with a passive father figure has that effect. God needed to break the delusion and it would be broken. Some people need a strong life changing event and some people need to be at a point where they have become hungry enough to do whatever it takes to see it come to life . My revelation was on the surface, my frustration weighing on me , it was just a matter of time.
So moping around my parents house during that year the moment was about to hit me. It was a Friday and my mom took me out for lunch in Melville at this quant coffeeshop/restaurant. The conversation went per normal and I started to complain about my life. I guess my mom was just fed-up with my attitude and moping. So during the conversation she asked abruptly, “What is it that you want to do with your life exactly?” Her direct and serious confrontational tone totally changed the tone of the conversation. Off-course I retaliated, the words poring out of me like a out-of-body experience. I loudly exclaimed, “I want to be film director”. I could see the sigh of relief and endearment in my moms eyes. She answered, “So why the music and art classes?” I took a moment as the statement sank in. This was a moment to reflect on. We both sat their for a minute.
I gave some answer about my reasonings but the more I thought of it the more I realised this is what I was meant to do. That coffee was a life changing a moment. (And maybe the reason for my ever growing love for coffee!) So would be the next couple of years, for this was only the beginning of the beginning.