Career Rollercoaster

I think I need to start by saying, this post is not a request for advice. I love you and please hold your ideas for my life and just see how this plays out.

I’m sharing this process in hopes it’s helpful- to me, to you, to a friend or your kid or my kids in the future. Last month I shared an Instagram story that I’m looking for a job. If you didn’t see it, I said that I’m not sure exactly what I want- except that what I really really want seems impossible at the moment. My top choice would be to continue making art, and whatever else I want, and to sell enough of it to make an actual living. An actual living to me is at minimum 30k a year, year after year. And for a number of reasons over time I’ve begun to feel that it’s not something I can rely on happening solely from selling my artwork. As a result of those feelings, in the past few months I have gotten on and off all of these rollercoasters:

I’ll write freelance 2 days a week and do art 3 days.

I’ll work part time for a friend’s business and really build up my art on the side.

I’ll go back to school for design.

I’ll take any job someone will give me that means I can renovate my kitchen, buy a new car, go to the dentist and have savings for old age.

I’ll go back to school to be an art teacher.

I’ll give myself a year to really really try with the art, since I’ve only ever had part time to work on it, since I’ve had kids at home during the weekday still.

And round and round I go…

This weekend I cried publicly when a friend who didn’t know any better asked if I’d ever thought about just being someone’s receptionist. Holy shit, it was like she shot me in the heart. I can both see how practical the idea seems and how grossly offensive it is to me. I wouldn’t wish that job on my worst enemy. Yet, I’d love to be able to have a life where I’m at peace no matter what work is in front of me. What I really want to do is live a meaningful, joyful, peaceful life that spreads goodness to others and experiences goodness to the full. Contentment is part of that goodness, but so is vision and courage. These only come through agitation and resistance. In this moment, I definitely feel agitated about my career and life path, but I’m not sure if the resolution should be vision and courage or contentment with small things.