When I was young I wanted to do one of two things when I grew up, be a police officer or work in Hollywood. The jury may still be out on whether or not I grew up but I did make my choice. I chose to go into Federal Law Enforcement because it seemed easier, and more importantly, safer than chasing "The Hollywood Dream" (plus 9/11 had just happened). It was a rewarding career, but not a fulfilling one. I was constantly nagged by the thought of "could I have made it?".
Leaving that job to pursue Hollywood was made easier by the fact that I had already been writing on the side and had contacts, but it was still terrifying. Hollywood success is a huge black hole of unknown. It was that unknown that was paralyzing me. That fear of being labeled a failure if I didn't make it. Let's face it, Hollywood is a rejection based business. You are going to hear "no" a heck of a lot more times than you hear "yes". But all you need is that one "yes" and all of the previous rejection does not matter. The question you need to ask yourself is if you have the courage to chase that one "yes". That is a question only you can answer. You may decide not to chase it. That's your choice. I completely understand. Or you may decide to chase that dream. I applaud you and wish you all the luck in the world. That "yes" may or may not come, but at least you will never sit around and wonder "could I have done it?".
I just saw this quote from Mark Twain/ Samuel Clemens today and thought it was the perfect postscript to this article:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."