Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just like that.

I realized years ago that the walls were closing in around me. I was gasping for air and the hideous fluorescent lights blinded me daily. If you were really lucky or well behaved, you just might get a window in your tiny cell with a glimpse to the outside world. No, I am not talking about being in prison...but figuratively I guess that's what it felt like to me.

I'm talking about the slow walk of death I would do daily to my office job. Soaking up every last minute of sunshine and outside world in the morning and never wanting to return on my lunch break. Watching the clock tick and almost channeling the 8.5 hours to be finished. Heaven forbid you left early or didn't put in your overtime or left for an illness or for others, even worse, a child's illness. The promise of work/life balance was dangled above our heads like a proverbial carrot when negotiating our salaries and employment conditions. A gym membership, 3 weeks vacation and shorter work weeks in the summer. Massages, yoga and employee counselling to manage the heavy and and unreasonable workloads that made us feel like a shitty employee at home, and a shitty mother/wife at work. Because when you overstretch yourself and have to play by other's rules and time schedules, you end up giving 10% of yourselves to everyone instead of 100% at any given time. Therefore everyone loses because your mind is always where you should be and not where you are.

I always thought of myself as extremely organized, regimented and someone who thrives on schedules and routine. A Type A personality, if you will. I could have never imagined that a life as chaotic and scattered as mine could actually bring me inner joy and satisfaction. And most of all, get paid twice as much as I ever did working for someone else.

Sure, this lifestyle is not for everyone. It's so stressful never knowing where the next paycheque will come from. Instead of one job, we've taken on something like 9. Between writing, blogging, photography, videography, Mike's job at Fortinos, catering/bartending small events, editing, odd jobs for a landscape company and advertising revenues, we wear many hats. While this may seem stressful and impossible for some, the hours that we are able to choose allow us more time at home, with each other and most importantly, when one income runs dry there are always a few others waiting in the wings. Somehow it works.

The strangest thing is the unpredictability of our weekly or monthly revenues. I never thought I would be able to emotionally handle the uncertainty of being self employed. And my husband may call me out on this and chide me for screaming in frustration to the universe (and sometimes him) about how scared I am. I did so just last night, and within minutes, 3 jobs landed in my inbox. Just like that.

That's the thing....when you finally know what it is that you want, the possibilities are endless. You channel what you want and how hard you'll work to the universe, and everyone who will listen. You won't know until you try. Yesterday, on a remarkably dreary afternoon, I exclaimed to my husband that we were going to film his culinary skills. What? Now? He asked....I don't have all the ingredients. We don't know enough about lighting. How will it work? For such an extremely talented man, he sure has hesitations in life. But if you hesitate every day, you'll never forge forward. You have to try something to at least fail at it, and know better the next time. You'll only ever be brand new to something once.

I was promoting family photo shoots the other day and thought, what better photo to post then one of my own? I set up the tripod, got the old bike out of the garage and listened in frustration as my husband said I would never get the dog in the basket. And we did. Just like that.

The two of us make a great pair because his talent and my hustle make up for his hesitation and my fear. His calm and my frenzy balance each other. You have to just go for it in life. Try something. If it doesn't work, oh well. At least you know what you don't want to do. He'll never go back to serving at restaurants. I most certainly will never go back to an office. Not if we can help it anyways, and not if we can make up for what was once a constant and secure weekly pay cheque, with other areas that we don't dread doing.

And here we are.  Doing what we love and paving our way to a better future. And you can too. You just have to be willing to try, succeed, fail, wander, experiment, hustle, flail, do.

Just like that.

~ Pleasure in the job, puts perfection in the work. Aristotle ~

No comments:

Post a Comment