I didn’t come up with that. I wish I had. No, as usual in my time of need I turn to Jack Kerouac to distil the complex emotions I am feeling into a couple of sad-yet-hopeful lines of prose. In my first blog post I admitted that I had been suffering through an existentialist crisis at the tender age of 27. I thought, perhaps somewhat naively, that a change of location and a new occupational challenge would satiate the restless soul within me. And to an extent it did. I soon realised that I had never worked alongside more intelligent, pleasant and all-round capable people than the ones at Supertext GmbH and AG. Working with people that you can rely on and communicate with is essential. Working with people that you can go out and party and drink with until you can’t stand up anymore is invaluable. Secondly, the projects I have completed here over the past year have been more varied than anything I have encountered in the translation industry before, and I consider my transcreation of the Tages-Anzeiger’s Platzspitz report to be the high water mark in that regard.
However, there comes a time – I’m guessing – in every person’s life when they have a major life decision to make. And until they confront it, it shadows them, watches them, echoes in every trivial aspect of their day-to-day life. Over the past few months, this has been my experience. One morning a few weeks ago I woke up and, without any prior warning, felt ready to act. So my decision is this: to step out of the industry for the time being, cut myself adrift and devote my time to writing a novel. I am both exhilarated and terrified by the prospect, but I am convinced that it is the right path to take. I don’t want to write anything more about it now, because I have no idea what the next few months will bring, but I am looking forward to finding out.
I’d like to offer a final thank you to everybody that has contributed to my personal development over the past year: everybody in my team in Berlin, the kids in the Zurich mothership (past and present), the splendid freelancers, the people in the B+ co-working space, and the four bosses, Rinaldo, Fabian, Rémy and Andrea, without whom I would not have been given this opportunity in the first place.
It’s not a particularly good idea to end with a quote as well, but this a beautiful one by Tom Wolfe, and it is intended for everybody:
“Either make this thing permanent inside of you or forever just climb draggled up into the conning tower every time for one short glimpse of the horizon.”
Cover image via Pexels (CC0)