In December of 2006 I was dating Luke for almost a year, & we were living together, & things were both hunky & dory.
But while I was in this amazing relationship, and at a “grown-up, non-sales, getting-my-full-paycheck-all-the-time job, my 9-6 or 7 or 8 job” that, at the time, I liked despite my “condescending micro-manager” of a boss (who would eventually get so condescending & so micro-managing that I I once dry heaved into the trash at the Union Sq subway station on my way to work, only to feel fine the second I was on the train heading home).
The confusion I felt was in regards to acting – my passion, my dream since I was an Annie wannabee. Here’s what I wrote in my journal back then:
“I feel my acting stuff just sorta slipping away. I still have the desire and the need to do it – if I didn’t I wouldn’t be upset about it – but I lost the optimism and the spark. I don’t feel jaded, per se – just worn out and tired of all this. I’m tired of chugging along, of the highs that don’t materialize and the lows that are just crushing. I feel like I’m not making headway, that I’ve never made headway. OK, maybe I am just a bit jaded.
But then it comes back around to the other part of what I need and what I want, which is a relationship that’s not strained by me being away, which is something more than a load of temp jobs, which is paying off my debts (even if it’s a little at a time) and being financially stable, and having a social life in NYC. And while I’m itching to be on stage again, I don’t want to give up the other pieces of what I need.
So I’m desperately trying to figure out a balance between my heart and my head. Do I do this job and have my social life and take a break from the business of show? Or do I do this job and take all my personal days for auditions, to keep plugging away at this? Or do I do this job and try to do my own show, even if nobody sees it except for me friends and family? Or do I just throw in the towel, keep on plugging away at my day job for a paycheck and the lifestyle I want to lead? Or do I go back to school to try to find something else that I can be passionate about?
I’ve been trying to unjumble my head for over a year with all this, and while I want to make both things work – be able to go on auditions and do extra work while I also have my “day job” – the more I try the more tired I feel. So what’s the compromise?
I feel like I’m a Practical Dreamer.”
That spring, I enrolled in the Career Change Workshop at NYU.
That summer, I enrolled at ICA to be a life coach.
I found my way, but I can’t help wondering how I really got here. I think it consisted of:
- being tired. Let’s face it, I was worn out, beat down, & “jaded”. I lost my spirit & I wanted it back.
- feeling “stuck”. I knew that I wasn’t going out on auditions, & eventually I realized that the job I was in was not going to be the job that I was going to have forever (or even another year!). I knew I needed to make a change or risk making a “career” out of doing something that I rocked at, but hated (namely sales & customer service, since my experience & personality kept me steadily employed in those fields)
- growing up. At the age of age of almost-29, I knew that the one goal I had my whole life was no longer the “right” goal for me. My priorities had changed into “grown up” ones & I wanted to pave a new path based on them.
- refusing to compromise. I could have easily stayed with that job for, oh, as long as I could have taken it. Or, I could have left & gone to the next customer service/sales position. But that was unacceptable to me. I spent my whole life chasing a dream, trying to make a living doing something I loved – making a living not doing something I loved was not an option.
- being a self-starter. I know it’s an extreme comparison, but changing careers is like being an addict. You have to acknowledge you have a problem & then you have to be the one to do something about it – nobody can fix your problem for you but you.
Where are you on your journey? Are you contemplating a new path, are taking steps to get there, or do you know what you want but not how to get it? I’d love for you to share your thoughts & experiences, & I promise that I’ll use them to cater my blog posts to you. Reading this journal entry put me right back to that year of confusion & loss, & that’s the reason that I became a creative career coach – to help those that are in that place. If only there was me when I needed me! Let me be me for you.