Time sure flies when you turn your life upside down. Here’s a list of everything that I’ve accomplished since I decided to make a hard u-turn six weeks ago and change my whole life:
- I’ve started my own business. This is at the top of the list because I never thought that I would actually do this, or that I would do it this soon. Surprise! Starting my own business was really, really easy. So many of the skills I needed to set up shop and take care of the legalese, tax, and banking tasks were things that I had learned from working in administration. The biggest difference was that this time I wasn’t doing it for my employer and I wasn’t running in circles trying to get all the information I needed for applications. I had all the information because I was doing it for myself. Buck stops here. Fantastic. Now that all of that is taken care of, I get to do the fun part: building a clientele base and networking like crazy. (Insert shameless self-promotion here:) If you’re writing something and you need killer feedback on it, which you definitely do, you should comment below and chat with me to book something with me so we can make sure you’re saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a play, a fan-fiction, or something weird that I haven’t even thought I would ever help to research or edit, bring it to me. I want it. Gimme shit to read, people. In return you’ll get professional feedback or research that will blow your mind. I promise.
- I’m making art like crazy. By the end of next month I will have danced in three different shows. I have choreographed my own shit for all of them. I have started stage managing again. Again, by the end of June, I will have been in performances for five weeks straight. Doesn’t matter if I’m covered in glitter or wearing blacks. A year ago I would have said you were full of shit if you told me I would be doing this many shows all at once. It’s great. I’m also writing like crazy (if you couldn’t tell) and my plays are actually getting the attention they deserve. That is definitely a miracle.
- I’m part of a community again. This is huge. Working a nine-to-five job that was not arts-centric really divorced me from the community that I really care about. I’m amazed, honored, and truly grateful that it’s been so easy to jump back in. The Seattle arts community has its issues, as every community does, but damn, y’all sure are happy to let a girl come back after a few years of her being distant as hell. I’m over the moon to be working hard for lovely people again. It’s also wonderful to know that people have my back and are willing to help me and be creative on my behalf. Whether that’s problem solving or collaboration or helping me get a gig to put food on the table, it’s all there and it rocks.
- Dealing with my shit. I’m gonna say it again: I suck at down time. The biggest reason that I suck at having free time is that when I have nothing to do, I can’t avoid dealing with my anxiety and having all of this free time has forced me to grapple with things that I would normally avoid while running around like a chicken with my head cut off. There’s been no avoiding it. Grapple, I must. It has been scary because I’ve had long periods of down time before that did not go well, but this time around is actually headed in a positive direction. I’m more solution focused this time and while I’m not 100% successful 100% of the time, I am addressing core issues as opposed to just putting band-aids all over the place. It’s nice. Without getting into gorey details, here are some thoughts: Therapy rocks. Be honest about your feelings. Cry. Do some yoga and do it regularly. Eat protein. Cry again. Boundaries are your best friends. Don’t put your energy into things/people/places that don’t give you energy back.
- I’m learning a lot. There have been some big questions that have come out of this whole experience. Some of them are quite practical like, “What do I do next?” “How do I make money now?” And others are more abstract and have more of a long view. The biggest one of these is, “What does success mean for me? What does it look like?” What I’m discovering is that my definition of success does not look a whole lot like what many people would categorize as success. I’m done with administration as a full time career. I can’t rot in an office for my whole life. Unfortunately, lots of people think that cushy office jobs are what success looks like. I am not those people. I value different things. I value variety, spontaneity, and work that, while challenging, doesn’t feel like work because it’s too damn interesting/fun/insane to feel like it. It’s a different way of earning money. It’s inconsistent and takes some different thinking and strategizing, but you know what? I’m happier. I’m way less stressed. And I’m definitely not bored.
I’m sure there’s more than these five things. I know there’s more, but a lot of it probably won’t really make sense for a while. Stuff is still up in the air. I’m not quite settled into a new life pattern yet, but I’m getting close and it’s fantastic. As always, thanks for joining me for the ride.