Monday, October 15, 2012

Stability vs. Taking Chances

I know you've been wondering. You've been thinking to yourself, Ada's summer season is wrapping up just about now, isn't it? Doesn't she usually post something about this time each year where she bitches and moans about how hard seasonal work is, worries about her finances, feels guilty about her lack of creativity over the summer, and in general decides that being an adult is tricky business? The answer is YES(!) and I know you've been wondering where that post is for year 2012. 

Well, wonder no more, because here you go!

Errr, or not.

Although I'm none too happy that the weather has turned grey and cold (why yes, I have worn long underwear to work all this week) and that snow no longer seems far off, I'm actually pretty content with the direction my life will take when I finish up with my seasonal full-time work on Sunday. There's much to look forward to as I transition into the winter season: more time for my personal business ventures of freelance writing and Etsy, season tickets to Broadway Across America (starting with Beauty and the Beast this Wednesday!), crafting weekends and other get-togethers, and a trip to Ireland in April that's almost completely saved up for. I'm rather pleased.


Although I have a hard time admitting it to myself, part of this contentment and security that I'm experiencing is because I am thisclose to accepting a two-year, salaried contract with my current employer. Over the past few Octobers, while I've been ecstatic to transition into my work-from-home portion of the year, I've been plagued by fears that I'm playing it safe, not trying hard enough, stuck at the end of a dead-end road, etc. etc. I've always felt that I have to take a big scary leap into the unknown to really prove myself. I've worried that if I'm not taking huge chances, then I'm not really living the life I imagined.

Then I remember that I'm a go with the flow sort of gal and that the closest I've come to a "life plan" is some hazy idea that maybe I'd sit in an East Coast cubicle as a magazine editor and that maybe I'd like to be married and start having children when I was 27. Since I'm remarkable wrong on both those counts, I think, at long last, it's time to release those hazy imaginings of yesteryear. Things aren't going the way I thought they would, but doesn't make things bad.

So I am not going to quit my day job because:
I like travel and the occasional dinner out
I'm a fan of health insurance
I enjoy being able to save for an exciting place known as "The Future!"
I still learn helpful things from the job and there's room for creativity and innovation
Despite the emotional tug of war that comes from running a business that's not truly your own, I'm the boss. Yup, I am.

You know, financial security is nothing to be sniffed at. Whenever I think that I'm not being very brave or that I'm not true to myself by sticking with this here day job, I remember that I gain more and more freelance clients every year and I've even managed to turn my knitting hobby into a teeny little business that keeps me in yarn money. How am I not being true to myself if I'm consistently carving out time in my life for things that make me happy without falling into a financial tailspin? Isn't that all any of us really want?

There's dissonance between what I think I should want from life and what I really want. If I'm being honest, all I really want is self sufficiency.

I don't need a fancy job. I don't need letters behind (or in front of) my name. I don't need a big house.

I want to be my own boss. Make my own food. Travel when I want. Have the financial security to feel unlimited and secure. Really, I've made fantastic strides towards all of those things in the last few years.

So I'm going to going to take a chance on stability and stop looking at it as being "stuck." Instead, I'll focus on all the doors that have opened and continue to be opened by sticking it out in my current situation.And I'll let change slowly seep into my life.

At this moment I don't feel pushed to take some bold, big move. It's enough to know that I have bold, big moves inside me. Moves I can pull out when the time for taking chances is just right.
 

4 comments:

  1. Great post, Ada. I often feel like you do. Right now I am able to work at home and I make a very small amount of money but it's enough to pay my bills. Sometimes I feel like I should try harder to earn more but then I realize that I value what I have, time to can and crochet, sleeping in everyday, the slow pace of my life. If the right opportunity came along though, to help make even more of my dreams come true, you bet your ass I'd jump on it.

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  2. Very inspiring post, and good for you for figuring out a situation that works in your favor-- both creatively and financially. No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with stability, especially if you LIKE your day job and the benefits that come with it. People tend to associate desk jobs with becoming bored or apathetic to their creative pursuits, and it certainly is common. But if that's not the case, why scoff at it?

    I'll admit, I'm nowhere near satisfied in my current situation. I'd like to be making more money (enough to live out of my parents' house if I wanted!), and I'd like to be a LOT more creative in my daily life. But despite my tiny income, I've got a lot of money saved. And I have big, life-altering plans in the near future that keep me from becoming despondent, because I have something exciting to look forward to. Blogging more regularly helps, too. I'm sensing great potential for living a creatively fulfilling (and hopefully financially rewarding) life in the near future, and the prospect thrills me. I'm happy to hear you're already there. :)

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  3. I'm excited for you. I love that you are doing something you really enjoy and that it fits. :)

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  4. Hi Ada,

    This post really spoke to me. I can’t even remember how I found myself on your blog but I’m glad I did. I feel the same way you do in this post: Content with my current job because of all it offers – insurance, salary, 401K and the big one STABILITY. But I also still find time outside of that to pursue my real dreams – writing.

    More grease to your elbows!

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