They say there is a time for every season.
I’ve been wondering if this is the season for dreaming, the season for flying.
I’ve been trying to follow my dream. I have been attempting to find a way to learn to survive by writing, while still keeping up with the financial obligations that I have to meet in the here and now.
Beginning a new career, especially when it is an investment in oneself, is a scary, time consuming, dive-off-the-cliff proposition. You have to be prepared to lose for awhile before you can win. You need to line yourself up to grab the brass ring but first you have to get on the merry-go-‘round. You need to pay to get on the carousel, you must be this tall to ride, and you must pick a horse that enables you to reach for the ring. You’ll never grab the ring by sitting in the sleigh or by riding in the middle. It’s a scheming, planning project and you have to have all your ducks in a row, cover your bases, work your arse off, and pray like hell.
I’m trying to break into supporting myself with my writing but I don’t have the wherewithal to afford to lose two years to a financial abyss. I’ve been teetering on the cliff, trying to make the leap, second-guessing myself and wondering if there is anything to land on if I fall instead of fly.
Flashback to two years ago.
I set out on a new life prepared to take the world by storm. It was another do or die, leap or stagnate, forge ahead or be left behind. I chose to forge ahead and most days I am happy with my decision. If anyone ever says they have no regrets about such major life changes, perhaps they don’t know themselves that well. It’s possible that they can look at the big picture and decide that overall they don’t regret their decisions (and neither do I) but let us be realistic and admit that *nothing* is perfect. *Nothing*
There will always be some part of you that recognizes the imperfection of most things. Or maybe not. Perhaps this is just me. Perhaps that is why I have to work so hard to make sure I see the beauty in things, to appreciate the little moments of awesomeness, the calms between storms. Perhaps I am the only one who wants to appreciate everything to the point where I can begin to obliterate the fact that everything has a flaw, every silver lining has a cloud, every person, in all their lovely, incredible uniqueness, has faults.
It is easy to believe in the perfection of things that are new, to revel in the specialness of that thing, to ridiculously enjoy the unique beginnings of anything. The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is, unfortunately, true. Too many of us begin to disregard the everyday things, become blasé about those things we see and feel and experience regularly, and experience mental and emotional desensitization in a variety of aspects.
It is and will continue to be my goal to never allow this aloofness to enter my life. I will attempt to see things with fresh eyes, an open heart and a joyous sense of wonderment. I will work to keep my life, my love, my surroundings, and myself fresh and new. A lofty goal but nonetheless, one I desire.
A goal I desire as much as, well … perhaps more than spending my life as a compensated writer.
Nevertheless, becoming a compensated writer has been my current goal.
I’m at another crossroads, have another decision to make, another cliff to leap off or back away from, another life event to create.
I want to be a compensated writer. No, that isn’t true. I can already claim that I am a compensated writer. I’ve worked as a ghost-writer and yes, have actually gotten paid. What I really want is to be able to support myself in something more akin to comfort then privation.
I’ve been eking out a living working part time on a substitute basis. It took me awhile to get here and I’ve just been settling into the roll while trying to maintain financial equilibrium. It’s been a difficult road and now, just when I can almost grasp the ability to manage, things happen. I miss work for a couple of days due to circumstances beyond my control, I have a tenant in arrears who is forever going to ‘pay me tomorrow’, I have medical expenses and other obligations looming over me and above all, I feel as if I am something of a disappointment.
I am in the midst of a project, one I am excited about and one that I am confident I can see through. I can go from being a ghost-writer to being a published author. I can do it. I have the ability but I need time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and as much as I want one, I don’t have a magic fairy princess wand nor a tree that actually grows money instead of leaves.
I’m at a precipice and am unsure of which way to turn. What I want and what I should do are two entirely different things right now. I want to write. I’m good at it. It has been my passion for so very long.
I want to write.
What’s the problem here? I want to write but until I make more money writing, I should make money. However, if I’m out chasing the money, I won’t be able to write. It seems to me that I can go out and make money or I can write. I can’t pay to get on the carousel. I can see the horse that I need to be on to collect the brass ring but I don’t know if I can reach it. If I can’t reach the horse, I can’t reach the ring. My ticket seems to be expiring.
It seems ludicrous that now, when I finally manage to create an actual plan, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to figure out what exactly I need to do, that I run out of the resources in which to do it all. I feel the patience of those around me wearing thin; I feel keenly the disappointment in my lack of any remaining savings, in my inability to successfully navigate the unexpected financial pitfalls of what amounts to a ‘normal’ existence. I’ve sold off most of my possessions, worked where and when I could, hounded the tenant on a regular basis, and picked up some funds by ghostwriting, and scraped along by borrowing funds from my future self.
I’m at the precipice and I’m pretty certain I have no safety net. Part of me doesn’t understand this, part of me is upset, part of me is sad, and part of me truly understands. I just don’t really like it.
I’ll land on my feet but I think I’m going to have to give up my dream to do so. I would say that I am putting my dream on hold but I don’t know that I’ll ever manage to get this close again. I don’t know that I can manage to do everything I currently need to do, want to do, have to do and still find the time to write.
I can be the person I’m supposed to be, self sufficient, independent and financially secure or I can be the quintessential starving artist who may or may not have a safety net.
It is a dilemma I never expected to have and it was brought on by poor planning, overzealous enthusiasm for my living situation, and a lack of understanding regarding others. I have to decide whether to be what I want to be and possibly lose it all, or what I should be and only lose a piece of my soul. Should I jump or should I walk?
I wish I had wings.