Today is the ninth day of Kat McNally’s August Moon. I have participated in her Reverb projects in December as well as her April Moon offerings, so it was a no brainer for me sign up for August Moon again this year. it comes at just the right time for me, I believe. There is a lot swirling around in my head and heart these days, and I’m looking forward to using the opportunity that August Moon gives me to work through those things that are rattling around inside of me.
Today Kat gives us the following:
What about your multiple selves?
There’s no elegant way of saying this: it often comes down to money.
Unless you are a trust fund baby or have a wealthy, indulgent spouse you are likely going to need to contribute in some way to your board and lodgings. And this is what tends to be the bottom line for most of us: I have this dream but how is it going to put food on my table, especially in the short term?
I don’t have the answer for this, obviously. But there are a couple of things I have observed.
Regardless of whether we’re talking about an overtly “creative” pursuit, it seems to me that putting pressure on your dream life to earn you money can somehow rob it of all its joy. This can become crippling and get in the way of the actual doing i.e. the refining of your craft, the prioritising of your actual goal.
It can also result in feeling like a total failure if it doesn’t come to fruition in the time frame required.
Today I invite you spell out the range of things you are and would like to be.
Which of these would be the likeliest candidate to generate income, in the short term? If none of them, how could these be combined with some other form of “day job”?
How could you a cultivate a life that reflects all that you truly are?
This is the dilemma, isn’t it? It is what keeps me away from my Sweet Husband during the week, away from this home we’ve built that is lovely & comfortable, to a job that I don’t particularly like but that pays better than anything else I can find. It is easy to say that if you do what you love, then the money follows, but I don’t know anyone for whom that is true. All of the people I know work to support their lives and enjoy every single moment they are away from work. Which is not to say that they don’t enjoy their jobs; many of them do. It’s just not what fulfills them.
I’m not entirely sure that expecting our work to fulfill us is the best way to approach our work. That’s an awful lot of pressure to place on something. I’ve always thought that “satisfied” (as in you were doing good work that made you feel satisfied was a more appropriate lens with which to view our careers…& in a perfect world, fulfillment would reside there.
The things I am:
- a teacher
- a student
- a writer
- a photographer
- a reader
- a crafter
- a mentor
- a staff developer
The things I would like to be:
- a much better writer with a wider reach
- a much better photographer with a much wider reach
- a guide
- a resource
- a relaxer
- a teacher of the things that I want to teach
Unfortunately, right now, about the only thing that I can see clearly that will provide for me is that teaching thing which I no longer really want to do. And that’s OK. I’m not at a point where I’m causing harm, and I’ve decided that because of the setting where I work, I can do things a little differently. I can focus on the things that I want to – namely how to do you get to be a better person? how do you set goals that you can achieve? how do you make a good decision? what is a good decision? – and I can wrap it up in my “content” and no one really knows the difference. (I don’t think I’d mind this gig if I could be home every night) I’m good with that. And I’ve got awhile before I have to make a leap.
I’m using that time to begin the work of positioning myself in such a way that I can combine some writing and photography work to support myself. I have a photo shoot coming up this weekend that will help me build a portfolio. I need to send some emails about lining up some editing work. I need to do some work on the photo editing class that I signed up for. It’s all a process, and I’ve come to the realization that it’s not going to be one thing – it’s going to be many things. I’m fine with that understanding. I’m fine with knowing that I’m going to have to pull multiple things together in order to make this work.
It’s all good.