A Matter Of Identity
For a long time I've been battling something that is both confusing and challenging. It all boils down to passions and strengths. I'll try to explain by way of what is a 'normal' life.
I guess my views on a normal existence would be that, as an adult, you go to work, you earn your salary, you raise a family, pay the bills, plan a holiday each year and put aside for your future. All of which is perfectly admirable.
But what if that one job that you have is horrible?
Well, I can hear you saying "change it!". And it's a good point. You're rarely obliged to remain in the same employment the whole of your life.
But what if the issue is deeper than that?
What if you are talented in more than one area? What if you felt that you could earn your money from multiple sources?
So this is my situation. I have a few skills that I've developed over the years that I want to earn an income from.
When I left my salaried job nearly two years ago, I knew that I was entering a different world. A world where I couldn't just sit around and get paid regardless of whether I was working or not. No work = no pay. And this I liked very much. It was so easy to become lazy or complacent in salaried work.
But of all the challenges I've faced in that time by far the biggest is identifying which 'hat' to wear on any given day.
I don't run with much of a calendar or timetable for my workload. I go with a 'gut' feeling for what I should be working on. I let my passion and enthusiasm drive my working direction. Let me tell you, this is dangerous. But if I can get it to work the results are hugely rewarding.
Essentially what I'm dealing with is that I'm not just one person but several people.
Discovering this was something of an epiphany. That I could be an artist, a software engineer, an arcade game designer and a teacher and share a passion in equal measures for each discipline was, frankly, life changing.
But the hard part is definitely in balancing it all.
I strongly feel that I let myself down by assuming that I should be earning money from each of these passions. By treating them all as income generating I have, in some respects, lost them as passionate hobbies. I guess part of the issue is that I'm at an age where I assume that I should be making money from everything that I do.
I apply far too much pressure to myself to perform and lose sight of the fact that these are my true passions; my life's loves.
Being good at something without necessarily earning from it is no bad thing. I almost have to write that on the wall over my desk.
Don't apply unnecessary pressure to yourself.
Be committed and professional where it's relevant but don't lose sight of what you actually enjoy.
This entry is more of a brain dump than anything else.
I am always grateful for what I can do and the rather more relaxed life that I opted into two years ago.