I happened across this old tweet of mine today and realised that I had written it exactly two years ago to the day. When you find something like that, you can’t help but think what your life would be like if things had gone differently.
My life of two years ago wasn’t a bad one. I was a lawyer working for The Walt Disney Company in Tokyo. It was a good job, that I enjoyed, in the field I trained in, and in an interesting country. All in all, I had a really nice life. While I’d like to be able to tell you all that there was a “piece missing” or that I hated my old life, the fact of the matter is I was really very comfortable doing what I was doing and quite content. So much so that this tweet was actually about the second MasterChef audition I was invited to.
The first audition was in my home town of Adelaide and it was scheduled while I was supposed to be visiting Cuba. Having planned the holiday for months, I declined the audition and went on holiday instead. When I returned to Japan, I called the producers and asked them if there were any other auditions that I could go to and they invited me to come to Sydney. Again, I ummed and ahhed and tried to decided whether I would travel all the way from Tokyo for a long-shot chance at something I wasn’t even really sure if I wanted to do.
In the end, the only way I could look at it was to say “Why not?”
Why not go to the audition? Why not give it a shot? If I fail, my worst-case scenario would be that I continue on doing what I’m doing and I have an interesting story to tell. The best-case scenario, of course, would be that I get through the audition and I have another, more interesting decision to make.
As is no-doubt obvious, I ended up going to the audition, having a ball, and getting through to the next round. The rest is history. There were lots of other moments and other decisions (and actually, I pulled out of the show at least 2 more times over the following few months – but that’s a story for another time), but this was the first one. Every single thing in my life would now be different if I had made that one little decision differently. I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience I have had over the past two years, the new career I have now, and a future that I’m incredibly excited about.
It didn’t seem like an important decision at the time – it was tiny, insignificant and almost laughable – but it was the first one, and it turned into one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made. I don’t think that all the important decisions in life present themselves with banners, fanfare and prancing horses. Sometimes it’s the little decisions that reach further and wider than you’d ever imagine.
I’m sure that right at this very moment there’s someone else, somewhere in Australia (or elsewhere in the world) that’s trying to decide whether or not they should audition for MasterChef or take a different kind of new step. Who knows, maybe in a few months they’ll be the one centre-stage when the gold glitter rains down.