Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with romance. Also, it might seem braggy/complainy, that’s totally not my intent.
I have a steady job that pays the bills. Sure, it’s stressful, and I have conflicts with coworkers, and I don’t enjoy commuting. These are understandable. However, I’m in my mid-thirties, and I’m waking up. Maybe it’s the nootropics or the sleep deprivation or my new exercise regimen, but I’m realizing: this work does not feed my soul. Time is a resource, and I feel as if I am not in enough control of how I budget and spend it. Not having a budget is for your twenties. I’m investing the remainder of my youth in something I don’t LOVE.
Perhaps it’s silly to think I can make a living off something I really like: I’m sure foundry workers, and miners, and the Cambodians who made my t-shirt don’t always love their work. I realize that I am incredibly privileged, and I am grateful. Like all Americans who are not immigrants, I am descended of immigrants. Recently. As in, I am in contact with relatives in the lands of my origins. My grandparents *toiled* their entire lives working for plantations, and barely made it. I would likely not feel “fed” by that kind of work, either., and I doubt they had much wiggle room to contemplate their feelings.
The thing is, I know exactly what I’d like to be doing, and it may be a case of the grass being greener: performing.
I wish I could have been that driven kid who could practice a skateboard trick until they could whip it out without a thought. I wish I could sit down and crank out novels, even horrible ones. However, that’s not, to borrow a word from Christianese, my gifting.
Nothing comes naturally to me, and I have to really grind it out.
I’ve done a lot of performing. I did standup twice as a child. I’ve done stage: improv, musicals, a large-scale passion play at a mega church, deconstructed avant-sketch.. Spoken word at open mics ( I think I was very good at this). I hosted 4 episodes of a public access tv show as a teenager. I was briefly interested in clowns and magic, which I would do at neighborhood kids’ birthday parties (for money) when I was 10-12. By far, I’ve spent the most time playing music. Church worship teams, punk rock bands, reggae bands. I’ve recorded in studios, and even spent a now-embarassing stint as an aspiring rapper.
It’s not that I even want to do it for money (at least, not primarily), but I need to express myself through performance.
My dad always told me, from a very young age “find out what you love, and find a way to do it forever”.
He also said that from the age of 10, he knew he wanted to be a jazz musician.
I’ve never known exactly what I want to be and do. I’ve focused broader on character traits that I want to embody and exhibit. I’m not 100% successful at that, either. There are times where I am cowardly, or value my comfort too much, but for the most part, I feel as if I’m moving forward.
My 10-year old daughter has started drama classes at a community center. She loves it- she’s an extrovert, and as a homeschooler, she doesn’t spend as much time with others as we/she would like. She is blooming, and I’m proud of her.
I have a few friends that come from a performance/theatre background. Most of them are also bloggers. Those that are not should be, especially if they live in Fox Hill.
So that’s what I’m going to do. Writing satisfies my creative part ( which I wrote about over a year ago in “The Manly Power of Creativity“) but also the parts of performance that I need in my life: setting a scene, telling a story, informing/entertaining. I’ve started working on a book I wrote notes for in 2010. I have ideas for 3 books. I’m going to be writing here. I’m still going to be a my day job, but that’s what it will be: a means to an end. It will not consume me, I will not lose sleep over it, I will not expect it to give me that which it cannot. This is incredibly liberating to me. There are aspects to my job that I enjoy very much, but I think what I like most about it is that it covers Paloma’s medical care and is bankrolling the life I want to live. A life of ohana, music and laughter, Thai food and coffee, grappling, gardening, writing. Finding God in the spaces, in the brickwork, between rows of beets, impressed in to pages, waiting for me in the grooves of records.