We have this thing we say here at our house.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how, though I would like (actually, LOVE would be a more accurate descriptor) to be an artist and a writer for a living, right now I have this job I go to everyday at the Erie County Public Library.
My library job is what Blisschick and I term my "fake job."
In an alternate or parallel universe, where, no doubt some version of me lives, I am fine with this job. (Also, in this parallel universe, I imagine I am a bit taller -- is that possible?)
I love the library. I believe in the library. I believe in its mission and in the idea of having a repository of knowledge and ideas that have been passed down through the centuries. I love the idea of the library being and becoming more and more a recreational destination for families and retirees and everyone amongst and in between those categories.
It's an exceptional place to be and to work. And in that alternate universe I spoke of, where I am not a painter or an artist or a writer who aspires to be a better painter, artist, and writer (and where I am hopefully taller), this job is great.
ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY awesome. Like, totally.
The problem is, I am a writer who wants to be published and I am a painter who desires to paint more and I am a person who desires to do these things as my living. Hence, the "fake job/ real job" distinction.
If I really want to be successful, then my arts must be my "real job." Knowing that I have this "real job" to come home to makes it all feel OK when I have to be gone to go to my "fake job" five days a week.
OK, so technically this isn't a problem. It's good that I know what I want and it's good that I have goals and that I am in touch with my creativity. But, it can still be hard.
I don't mean to complain either. I am grateful for my "fake job." In this economy where so many are losing jobs and feeling the burden of pay cuts, loss of benefits, etc., I know I am lucky. Fortunate. Blessed.
I guess that's why it can be so hard. I sometimes feel like wanting more for my life, wanting a more entrepreneurial existence is somehow selfish or greedy.
But it's not. My being happier and doing more of what I love is good for everyone. It's good for the world. And, if I accomplish the goal of living day to day from my "real job," then someone else gets my "fake job" for whom it might be very "real."
At our house, we just made the (very difficult) decision that Blisschick needed to quit her part time gig to stay home to work more on our "real job" stuff. Fake or not, my library job keeps me away from the house enough that it would be hard for me to work toward the goals I want to accomplish if I didn't have a lot of help. I am grateful to have a partner who is so willing and able to help me in addition to doing her own myriad things. We have an incredible symbiosis.
It is helpful, though when I feel frustrated or overwhelmed at the library to remind myself that I have other things in store for my life. As much as I love the library and the people there, it is still just my "fake job."
The job is not my life.
My artwork, my writing, my home and all the mammals within -- those things are my life.
Now if only we could get Miss Zoe to take on a little part time job...
It was definitely some bird's job to make a home in this tree.
I wonder how he felt about it?
I wonder how he felt about it?