Is This What It Looks Like to Follow Your Dreams?
I'm ready to punch my cat in the face. She won't stop meowing but poor thing it's because she's hungry. She's hungry because I can't easily afford to buy her wet food right now. I'm now barista-ing in a coffee shop part time, doing a few photo shoots on the side and pouring my energy into creating music. I walked around the neighborhood in the rain this morning; my mind circling around what the fuck I'm doing. I could start up my photography business again, clients are eager to hire me and I'm basically leaving money on the table. Crazy?
A year ago I decided to shut down the photography business and go down the music path. I accidentally started a new photography business one month after making that decision. It went well and new was exciting but one year later, I'm back in the same spot...shut down the photography businesses (plural this time) and focus on music. I learned a lot this past year working with new photography clients (small businesses instead of families) and my music skills have increased. I can accompany myself on guitar, jam with other people, sing with more confidence, perform publicly without shriveling into the corner, improvise on piano, record & produce my own music, make my own music videos, write songs that get stuck in people's heads and actually keep a beat! Fuck ya! Success is progress.
BUT there are still no pennies in the bank. I earned a lot of money this year through photography but it all gets sucked into debt repayments, unexpected stuff (like getting married, cars breaking down etc...) and rent. Getting the job in the coffee shop is a nice change of pace - it's refreshing to just show up and get paid and then go home with no strings attached. But it's painful to take this massive pay-cut. I earn $100/hr as a photographer and I earn $11/hr as a barista. It was just too much for me to run a photography business all day and then build a music career by night. Too much creative output left me drained, stressed, disconnected from people and constantly feeling insecure and worn-out. Just the discipline alone to practice musical instruments will annihilate my energy, so it was torture trying to do it after a long day of work. So anyway, here I am writing this blog post on Thanksgiving morning...my hair is still wet from the morning walk and I'm asking myself, "Is this what it's all about? Is this what they're talking about when they say ---
"I quit my job, I had no money in the bank, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing or if anything I as doing would pay off, but I kept going even though it didn't make sense to anybody else. I kept going because I had this clear vision in my head of what I wanted and it didn't even make sense to me why. I just knew it was the only option, the only thing that I could be at peace with, the only thing I was willing to sacrifice for. I felt crazy but I kept going. I felt irresponsible but I kept going. I kept doubting myself and feeling really tempted to go back and get my old job back and have that paycheck again. I felt like everyone was watching my every move. I felt naive, foolish, idealistic, selfish. I constantly doubted if I should listen to my intuition or if my intuition is actually just a chemical reaction in my stomach triggered by fear or fanciful sentiments...not actually any solid guidance or source of greater wisdom. I was making big life decisions based on a little voice in the back of my head that told me to just keep going. I constantly questioned if I was fooling myself. Did I actually like this life path or just the idea of it? But I just kept going because I wanted to see what would happen if I did."
--- Is this what they're talking about when they say follow your dreams? Because if so, then I'm deep in it and I wonder how I'll get out. // Cha