Sunday, March 27, 2016

Reflections before Dawn

For some reason my body has decided that 5:45 is the time to wake up this week. This morning I woke up thinking about the past year.

It has been almost exactly a year since I decided to give up the day job and focus on my business. 6 months before that I had left a job that was making me miserable but paid really well. In August my savings was completely depleted and I had to go back to having a day job. This was a really hard transition for me. I felt like a complete failure. It took a few months to realize that the expectations I had set, weren't really how I felt, but how I felt other people viewed what my expectations should be.

It took a couple of months, but I found a day job that not only fit with my schedule, but also has a very positive message that aligns with my own values. I love this job, everything about it. And it wasn't long before I felt like it was meant to be, and I belonged there.

In December I had another set back when my van was hit by another car. I had only just gotten over the last mental setback when this took every dollar I had left, and then some. It was a long month, and in many ways this took longer for me to get over. I felt violated, like my dream was stolen from me, like I had no choice in it, rather than it a result of my actions. It was a very dark time.

I don't know how I would have come out of that with out the support of my tribe and my mentors, and even at times complete strangers. I think it happening so quickly after just coming to terms with the previous "set back" and it being something that was not my fault, but felt like I was being punished was hard, even over whelming. But I made it through. I have a smaller cart now, so my business plan for the summer has changed greatly, but I've been able to continue doing what I love to do.

The point of all of this is that my expectations were unrealistic, and not even my expectations. I had in my head that if I did anything that wasn't related to my business, that I wasn't really devoted to my business. That's just bull shit. It really is a ridiculous notion that you are not a "true" artist (or what ever) if you do not live off nothing but what your art brings in. Am I willing to starve for my work, absolutely, but I'd really rather not if I can help it. It's hard to run a sewing machine from a cardboard house.

Running a business is hard. It takes a good while before you can expect to be in the positive, let alone live solely off of it. I have to work a little harder to balance my business, the day job, and going to school, but it just means that I appreciate the results that much more. Sometimes life doesn't go to plan, so you have to draft a new one.

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