What I’ve Learned From Chasing My Dreams
It’s been almost two months since I got laid off and decided to pursue writing as a career. At this point, I could go one of two ways. I could focus entirely on the good, give you an idea of what I’ve been up to and how AMAZING everything is (Cue the confetti launchers and stuff). I could focus on how everything sucks, how I’ve never worked this hard and how sometimes I have doubts, thereby crushing anyone’s hope to follow their dreams (cue the sad violin). Or, I could tell you the truth, the truth about what my life is like at the moment.
My life is very “in the middle” at the moment. Super vague, I know, just hang on. I’ve learned that the Self-Employed life can really SUCK if you don’t have balls of steel and an Iron Will to match. To be honest, it isn’t much better if you do. It’s a life that is completely tough as nails…and I couldn’t be any more happy with it. Living paycheck to paycheck definitely has it advantages, knowing how and when your money is coming in, knowing exactly what your schedule is going to be and making sure things are covered easily enough, ect. For me however, I just wasn’t comfortable working for someone else like that.
Working for myself however, has a surprisingly similar feel. The big difference is that your not entirely sure where and when your money is coming in. This can be quite frightening at times, especially since the ever looming fear of bills is always creeping in the back of your mind. If you aren’t okay with an unstable paycheck, then self-employment really isn’t for you. When you get your first freakout, that’s the point when you figure out whether your cut out for this lifestyle or not.
My friend, let’s just call him Guidance for the moment gave me some advice. He’s worked in a number of different fields, so when I told him what I was doing he gave me this advice, and it really helped! He told me this…
“Stevenson, When your working in the mindset of income instability, you have to get creative. You spend a little bit too much money, and instead of a full on collapse, you think to yourself How Do I Rectify This Situation. Money is fluid, you gain it and lose it all the time. Bills pass, how you live is the important part” – Guidance
That advice I truly took to heart. He helped me understand that there are two paths to take. One, is that you freak out and try and find a job the you wind up hating. You get the steady paycheck and go home and your stuck in the same loop you were before. If that’s something your into, awesome. I’m glad you found your comfort again. OR, there’s option two. Option two is that instead of JUST freaking out, you roll up your sleeves. There are a thousand ways to bring in extra income quickly. In fact The Penny Hoarder, a blog dedicated to penny pinching and saving, put up an article on Ten Different Ways to Make Money Tomorrow!
I’ve learned that living the self-employed life isn’t about building a steady figure in the beginning. It’s about Thinking creatively and doing the things you need to do to make sure that your dream becomes a reality. It’s not an easy life, but it’s a good life, I’ve cut down on a lot of things that I don’t need and my commodities have become literal luxuries. Things I don’t need to survive, but I can get them every once in a while and have a good time. Happiness no longer comes from the things I can buy, but the things I see. Visiting Belle Isle and Hanging in a Hammock, Checking out a thick wood, meeting people downtown. All of it feels different now.
You gain a new appreciation doing it all, because its all coming from a place of happiness that YOUR funding your life. Your not on the bankroll of a company that doesn’t even give you the proper compensation for the work you love. You develop a new happiness because you aren’t working for a company, making them rich on your back while you sit there thankful for the pennies you receive in return.
The food has a different taste, experiences are different, and even the money has a different feeling. It’s a feeling of fulfillment! In the end, wherever your fulfillment lies, that’s what you should be working towards. A sub-par life isn’t going to make you happy, and the only way to lead a successful is to focus on your happiness! Don’t give up that dream, chase it with everything you have in you!