Career

As I write this, I am sitting perched above a gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills. I’ve got a great view of the city – of Santa Monica and Century City and the palatial homes sitting above the 101 freeway.

It’s really the perfect environment to write. It’s quiet, save for the soft hum of the freeway. It’s absolutely beautiful. I have a block of time squared away for just this – writing.

And yet I’m struggling. I’m finding it so hard to focus and get words on the page

I recently read Steven Pressfield’s “Turning Pro”, in which he speaks at length about the difference between professionals and amateurs. More specifically, he notes the different habits between the two groups.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but I know I still sit squarely in the “amateur” camp. I don’t take my desire or whatever talent I may possess very seriously most of the time.

In the book, Steven talks about the moment he turned pro. And the moment Roseanne Cash turned pro. And a few other examples of those key, pivotal times that people who knew they had a greater obsession, a fervent passion, went from being amateurs to being professionals. Steven notes that you’ll remember the moment you turned pro in the same way that you remember the moment you first heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

I was so fired up when I finished the short book (and I highly recommend it!). I was almost sure that reading that book may have even been my “turning pro” moment; that perhaps I had suddenly made the internal switch from amateur to pro and would magically have the habits to support it.

It’s been a few days and I still think I have work to do. I suppose every day, even as a pro, you have work to do, but I know I haven’t yet rid myself of my amateur habits.

Last Friday night, I had the perfect opportunity to write. It was the first time in a long time that I had nothing to do and nowhere to go on a Friday night and it felt incredible. Freeing. There were so many things I wanted to do: I wanted to do laundry, I wanted to organize my room, I wanted to pack for a weekend trip to Palm Springs, I wanted to finish writing our wedding thank you notes, I wanted to wash and restraighten my hair, I wanted to read some of Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit”, and most of all, I wanted to write.

But I didn’t do any of it. Seriously, not any of it.

I had three (at least) glasses of wine, looked at way too many pictures on Facebook, half-watched TV, and passed out in bed around 11pm. Not exactly the activities of a professional writer.

And it’s hard not to get down on myself when this happens. It’s hard not to wonder if I just don’t have this in me and I will always be the amateur on the outside looking in.

But I know I am smart and I know I am capable and I know I can get things done when I need to: I do it every day at work and in many areas of my personal life as well.

I may not yet be the “professional” writer, but I know that I want to be. I know that I want it so bad, it’s all I can think about for a good portion of my day, every day. And I am acutely aware of the difference between where I am now and where I want to be. I can make up that difference. I can make greater strides and try harder and do better. And sometimes, I’ll drink three glasses of wine and spend way too much time looking through the Facebook photos of someone I barely knew in high school instead. That’ll be unfortunate, and I’ll be pissed at the opportunity squandered, but it won’t be an indication that I need to stop; that I need to give up.

I fear I may always have some amateur habits, or that I’ll sometimes still slip back into them. But from what I learning, the professional in me won’t see that as an opportunity to stop. I won’t turn back.

I want to write. I am a writer.

AaronOffice

I'm not a writer. At least I don't think I am.

I generally leave my writing for my Fantasy Football shit talking or my tweets, but peer pressure goes a long way, especially if that pressure-er is your wife. That's why I'm now also writing here.

I've always wondered what it would be like to write, just to write. I guess I'm the kind of person who, if I don't have a definitive topic to write about, I won't. I've never been a "creative writing" kind of person; more of a practical writing kind of person. In college, I always loathed English essays, but straight murdered business memos and business writing (Truth: I was nominated for an award for business writing). I identified with putting all the important shit first and then all the fluff at the end; writing as if an executive who had less than five minutes of spare time could skim the first paragraph and know exactly what the rest of the memo said. I could never do the fluff in English essays and I always struggled with meeting the minimum page requirement.

I guess all that doesn't matter now because here I am, writing just to...write.

Enter my beautiful wife, Jenna. All the girl does is read and write. I'm amazed that she can do it...just for fun. They say opposites attract. She and I couldn't be more different in our ideas of awesome things to do during down time. She's always got her nose in a book or she's in front of her laptop writing about something. Me, on the other hand, I can often be found in front of the TV watching anything that has to do with a bunch of dudes on a team trying to beat another bunch of dudes on a different team.

My life is sports. I used to  partake in sports just for relaxation, exercise, and fun; now it's not only my hobby, but it's my job. About four years ago, I was working a dead end job at a massive financial institution. I thought finance was what I wanted to do. My family is in the stock business and I thought that was my destiny...to follow in the family footsteps and do what they did. I worked at several banks; they're all the same and they're all shitty to work for. I decided to make a really big change and transition careers completely. I decided to pursue a career in sports.

Time out. When I said I was a sports fan, I wasn't fucking around. These are the sports I'm into: Hockey, Football, Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Tennis, and even Rugby. How many American guys do you know that are into Rugby? I decided to turn my passion for sports into a career. I'd always heard if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. So I made the decision to go back to school and get my Master's in Sport Management at Long Beach State (Go Beach!) here in Southern California.

Coincidentally, this is the exact time I met my now wife, Mrs. Team Awesome. I got my first internship with the LA Galaxy soccer team when we first started dating and I haven't looked back. It's weird how great things come in pairs...or threes or whatever that rule is. In this case, I met the woman of my dreams and started on my career path at the exact same time.

Fast forward three and a half years. I've since quit my job at the bank and have been hired full time with the Galaxy, and am engaged to marry Jenna in August. My manager at the Galaxy approaches me and says the Director of Ticket Sales & Service position at the Ontario Reign is available and they think I'd be a great fit (the Galaxy and the Reign are part of the same ownership group). That's how you get the jobs you want in the industry (and I imagine other industries as well).

I grew up a hockey nut. My dad is a massive Los Angeles Kings fan, and thus brainwashed me into a life of torment and disappointment...that is, until 2012 when both my dad and I were at Game 6, crying happy tears along with 18,000 of our closest friends doing the same. I've cried happy tears three times in my life: 1. When I proposed to Jenna 2. The day my beloved Kings finally won the Stanley Cup 3. Almost exactly a month ago when I married the woman of my dreams. Needless to say, I'm really into hockey.

I've always wanted to work in hockey, and this was my chance. I went in for the interview and felt pretty confident, but you never truly can get a read during an interview. So I crossed my fingers and wished for the best. A week later I got the call:

"Hi Aaron, this is the President of the Ontario Reign...we really didn't know what to expect when you came in, and we were blown away. You impressed us on all levels and we're glad you came in..."

Pause. This is the moment in the conversation I'm expecting: "BUT, we decided to go with another candidate. Soooooooo, good luck in the future!"

This conversation did not end that way.

"...soooo we'd like to offer you the position!"

Cue simultaneous vomiting and shitting in my pants.

The next day I accept a job with the Ontario Reign professional hockey team and am one step closer to my dream of being a Team President of a professional sports team. Oh, and I get married in a little over two weeks.

When it Reigns, it pours.

It's now twice that these huge moments in my personal and professional lives have intersected. I have no idea if this will ever happen to me again, but if it does it's going to be pretty fucking awesome.

[Note from Jenna: Time to have a baby?!]

Thanks for reading my first venture into blogging and writing just to write. I guess I'm not so bad at this fluff thing after all.