This autumn, as the aspen leaves were turning to gold, a cherished friend of mine introduced me to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel, Le Petit Prince. While I had been aware of the book’s existence, I had never taken the time to read it. The story has quickly become one of my favorites.
I love perusing the book’s pages, reading about the little prince who rules an asteroid no bigger than a house. On his travels, the prince encounters a downed pilot in the desert and relates the tales of his travels to him. The adventure comes alive in new ways, with fresh details leaping off the page every time I read it.
Lying in bed one night, I watched as the shadows from the streetlight danced across my ceiling. The silhouettes of falling snowflakes trailed down the wall. My thoughts were racing and I couldn’t sleep. 2020 had been a year fraught with incredibly challenging situations and, as the new year approached, things weren’t looking any brighter. Despite my usual optimistic view of the world, doubts and worries kept creeping in and threatening to cause anxiety. Negative thoughts could pile up faster than laundry, and I was daily scrambling to keep them in check.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Reaching over, I turned on the lamp and felt for the book on my nightstand. I opened Le Petite Prince and began to read.
How often have you heard this phrase? Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you and I had a buck for every time we’ve heard this advice, we could probably go travel the world together.
Because I do have a sarcastic bone or two in my body, my response to this advice used to be, “How are jeans, a hoodie, and flip flops going to get me a job as a writer?” (At least, that was my fantasy: dressed accordingly, sitting on the beach, while typing out a 75,000-word novel.) But that dress code doesn’t fly in most circles and, besides, I just didn’t see the logic.
Six years into a career managing the print and graphic design department at a pharmaceutical company, I was still mulling over this question. I had my degree in graphic design and was working in my career field. That was a huge blessing as graphic design jobs can be few and far between where we live. However, I still felt my calling was writing. How did I get from where I was to where my heart longed to be?
One morning, about 300 emails into my day, a revelation snapped like a rubber band across my brain: Dressing for the job you want has less to do with what outfit you’re wearing and more about your attitude.
When I was a little girl, books were as good as magic to me. I’d crack open the pages and the sweet scent of paper and ink would draw me deeper. The words whisked me away on unexpected adventures full of new ideas. The possibilities were endless. Would I travel to a new planet? Or to the depths of the ocean? What new friends would I meet on the journey, and what challenges would we overcome before the final paragraph?