I’ve been feeling a little low. I’ve been away from a traditional job for over a year now, trying to discover what brings me joy and how to support myself while having the freedom to do those things. I still have some money in the bank, but not enough income to sustain my “sabbatical” a whole lot longer. I find that I’m frequently worrying that very soon I’ll to have to get a job that I don’t like – if I can find a job at all – or that I’ll get hit with a big expense that will plunge me into debt.
Truthfully, I’m less concerned about getting wiped out or ending up in “job jail”, and more about finding out that the assumption I’m testing – I can spend my time doing things that I love while having the income I need to be happy, peaceful and content for the rest of my life – is, in fact, invalid. Or worse, that it might be valid, but I’m not going to be able to finish the experiment because I didn’t spend this time wisely or well.
I started this whole adventure when I was laid off from a job I no longer enjoyed. I had some severance, some savings and some unemployment compensation, so I was happy to have the freedom to heal and try to find a new direction. It was quite liberating to realize that I had been given the opportunity to start over and do anything I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I had no idea what that was.
But through a slow and deliberate process of staying present, trusting myself and the Universe, and listening to some amazing advisors – one in particular – I now know that in addition to helping people resolve conflicts, I want to write and I want to sing.
The singing – something I’d done professionally many years ago – took an unexpected turn when I stumbled upon the joy of singing old songs to elders, particularly those with dementia, stroke, or other challenges. I’ve started a new service where I get to do just that and am in the process of trying to get it off the ground as a business. That process has had some fun, creative elements – in addition to the satisfaction of providing the service to the elders themselves – but has also been very stressful because I don’t really enjoy the business end and have never felt very good at it. Luckily, I have some extremely supportive close family and friends – some of whom are good at business – so it is possible that this endeavor could generate a portion of my income. Or maybe not.
The writing has been more slippery. I do love to write and am lucky enough to have my blog as an easy outlet. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, my focus has been on the singer in me while the writer has been sitting on the sidelines. That is to say, I’m a writer who hasn’t been writing very much. But lately I’ve begun pulling out some previous work, doing some editing and polishing, and have some ideas about ways to get it “out there”. And a recent comment from a virtual stranger about the value of the information in my blog posts has given me a twinkle of encouragement that she may not be the only one. So maybe I can find a way for those things to open some sort of income stream. Or maybe not.
Obviously, I’m feeling pretty conflicted. Despite the doubts and fears, I still have this underlying sense that it’s all going to turn out well – one way or another – and also that the tide is going to turn very soon. But, there’s a fine line between optimism and delusion, so it’s hard to know whether to trust that it’s going to be okay or accept that fear is nature’s way of telling you to stop and turn around.
So I guess this is basically a Note to Self to see how this all turns out, so that “next time” I’ll know whether to believe the dreams or the doubts. Stay tuned…