enlightenment

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of crazy ideas (and small fuzzy things).

A Spoonful of Thought?

Reflections of the Year
enlightenment
captainsquiggly
As some of you may know, I have spent the last week and a half vacationing in the east bay, with J. As the week comes to a close I must reflect upon all that has happened.

*This past summer, I got a full time day job that I enjoy, but has become a source of debilitating stress
*I successfully started a vocal studio, but put it on hold upon starting my full time, in office day job.
*I dove into the world of virtual administrative work, only to find that that type of work was clearly not for me.

This evening I attended a cocktail party, during which I had several meaningful conversations with those further along in their lives. Shortly after stating my accomplishments and that I merely aspired to restart and exponentially grow my vocal studio, I was told that I must continue to paddle along and work on achieving my goals, despite the odds seemingly placed in front of me.

Thus, I plan to restart my studio and charge more, hold the lessons at professional studio, and little by little, catch up on continuing to make my goals.

I have also discovered that I am easily side tracked, especially by other very passionate people. I seem to become quickly insecure and forget that my talents, skills and experience are worthwhile and are worth putting effort into and getting behind. At the end of the day, work is work and work, especially if not the work I have my heart set on doing, is clearly a thing that I must be able to leave at the office at the end of the day.

There is much to do, but I feel I have a plan now.

The Battle of the Coasts
Platypus
captainsquiggly
Throughout the years I've been tickled by the idea of moving back to CA. Ca is nice. And warm and not too hot in the summer. But most places demand a car.

There is a real possibility that in a year or two J and I might move to CA and live out there. He's a programmer now and once he has enough impressive and relevant stuff on his resume we will have great opportunity to make a better and more comfortable life for ourselves (with more cats).

If we were to move to CA, it would be challenging. I would have to start over establishing my vocal studio, would probably have to take up a full time job I hate (again) so that a car + cats + apt + training +  comfort can be paid for. Unless of course J gets offered such an awesomely high paying job that I can start with a few students and grow.

But there is now one very important thing that ties me to this coast: Pazzi Lazzi. I finally met people who want to do Commedia seriously, with the costumes, movement and all the commitment it takes to put on a good show. While I don't doubt I wouldn't be able to find a group of people on the other side that is something I would be very sad to lose and have to start over with.

Thinky thinky

Types of Work
enlightenment
captainsquiggly

It occurred to me recently that there may be an overarching reason as to why I'm unhappy at my day job-- it's just not the work I want to be doing. I have very developed skills as a musician, teacher and performer and doing anything else unrelated to that feels like I'm doing myself a huge disservice. In the past two years of holding down this job I hate,  I have searched for other jobs I believe I could do and tolerate. The carved out jobs that exist and available are not things I want to do.

I'm a great music teacher. I pride myself on engaging my students of all ages, backgrounds, levels, ethnicity. I know how to keep them focused, I know how to communicate with them even if their English is limited. I know how to empower them. And they learn a great deal with me. And they remember it.

I am worried that I will never be a functional member of society as far as holding down a day job. I'm ok with that. I'm an artist, a musician. A performer. I don't belong in an office.

So now I face dealing with this constant feeling of being unsatisfied while at my day job. I deal with this while work 50-60 hours a week. Feeling burnt out at the end of each day and having to teach nonetheless. It's so very tempting to move back to CA, live at home for a few months and find a studio to teach out of. Establish myself as a performer. Make use of my car to transport equipment. Start over.

J. and I have briefly spoken about moving to CA. He doesn't seem to want to pursue it. I don't think he understands what's it really like for someone like me to deal with the above. I was raised in such a way that I was always told to pursue and develop my talents. So were many people..

Is this sort of thing taking the easy way out? Is leaning towards wanting to take advantage of pursuing and finding work in your passion the lazy way?


Thoughts, anyone?


When Opportunity Doesn't Present Itself, Create it
enlightenment
captainsquiggly
I am very seriously considering a work from home job as an virtual admin assistant. I think it would fit well with my lifestyle and allow me to do the creative/performance things I want/need to do. Nothing else seems to be appropriate for me in all of the job listings I find. Let's see how this goes.

You Watched me Do it, Now Sing!
sleepy
captainsquiggly
One of things I dislike about my job is that my boss throws things at me and assumes that because I have experienced a situation once, I should be able to execute solutions to problems on my own. This is not the case though. It's like saying to someone, ah you write music so why don't you just write me an opera? I get it. This is a small business. People wear many hats. But when the two other people who make the big decisions aren't present and only one person who has already begun to train in the other main positions of the company is left to deal with everything, things fall apart.

Within the last two days tons of problems occurred that I had watched my boss deal with and dealt with under his strict guidance (e.g. checking each minuscule decision with him). This is the way he trained me and thus trains all of his employees. There is no real sense of independence. He wants his employees to be independent and able to make decisions on our own, but there are too many problems that happen each day, there is never enough time to sit down and really consider each problem, because each problem is very time sensitive and requires an experienced brain.

The company is not well organized and the owner is a scatterbrain. In the last 1.5 years I've been working here, I've attempted to bring organization and calm to it. However, I don't see everything. As is, I do the job of three people. If I were trained thoroughly as manager, as opposed to being a manager when needed, I would be more successful at dealing and solving problems when they come up. But more experience is required so that I know what type of problems to plan for and prevent.

There are so many tiny details to learn. If I knew more about how to deal with problems and prevent them, the tiny details would not be cast by the wayside. I often run away from things that are difficult/scary/stressful. I've stayed with this job for a long time (more than a year is long for me) and I've learned a great deal about myself and how business works. It's difficult for me to convince myself to commit to dealing with and continually solving problems, but even more difficult to commit when I don't have all the experience and applying the information I have to solving the problems.

GR!

Some Days
enlightenment
captainsquiggly
There are some days in which I become routinely frustrated with myself and my skill set. I'm a musician, performer and instructor/coach. I'm not interested in doing paperwork, having a keen eye for an extra comma, discussing the possibility of higher sales or trying to figure out the best way to sell a service. Put that together with a lack of interest in math and science and you get me. A person with a specialized skill set who excels in delivering results but with little interest in cultivating real world job skills.

I am lucky enough to live in Boston, a self propelled city where plenty of jobs exist and many small businesses flourish. I find it very frustrating because to start my studio in a more serious way, I will continue to need training throughout my career as a vocal coach. Training starts at $90/hr for my voice teacher and $300/hr for the master voice teacher. Eventually I will get my level 1 certification and I will be listed on the internationally renown website for Speech Level Singing. I love training under the system because it is (believe it or not) cheaper than grad school and I am able to work 70 hours a week while I further my professional development. That said my studio has really grown in the past 3 months and I am up to 13 active students and about 5 or so who come now and then.

However my job is boring at best and I worry that I will always need a day job to support me so I can do the work I really want to do. I have noticed that people deal with this in many ways. Some move out to the boonies where rent is cheaper so they can really pursue what they want to do. Others have the ability and discipline to hold down a day job that allows them to bring in extra income with doing what they want to do and live comfortably.

I'm not sure what to do with myself. There is a multitude of overqualified people who could excel and even enjoy doing what I do. I put in 90% into my day job. And that's as much as I can demand of myself. There is clearly great value placed on the arts, entertainment, especially music. I wish I could what I wanted to do already. 

Nurture vs. Nature
enlightenment
captainsquiggly

Angsty PostCollapse )

I'm at a crossroads with uneven earth beneath my feet.


Knowing My Limits
enlightenment
captainsquiggly
Last time around this year, Jon and I had broken up and I was in a state of complete distress. I wasn't sure if I was going to move home to California or stay in Boston. Having never had a full time day job before, I had no idea what to do. I had a series of interviews for various office positions. I had no idea what I would find. As March turned to April, I still had no idea what I was going to do. Meanwhile, Jon was changing himself for the better, picking the pieces of his life back together. We started running together and cooking together. We reignited our love and soon I was much more seriously looking for a job in Boston. One day I received a call from a guy whose name I thought to be "Xaveed". Starting on April 9, I began my new job at a strange warehouse in Watertown, MA. After several months of great stress and wondering when the nightmare would end, I finally settled into my new job.

So now Boston hasn't just become the place I currently live, but it's really become my home. I'm deeply involved with a local theatre company. While right now it's just a start up I'm very excited about being a part of it. It's a small, but very loyal community of artists, actors and directors. Through the connections with this company, I've been able to co-teach a movement workshop and introduce the aspects of Commedia dell'Arte back to the modern world to a group of young people.

And now, I intend to start doing again what I came here to do: sing. I've been off my feet as a performer. I haven't sung in public for at least a year or more. It's difficult to remember the thing you're most passionate when you each week offers a great deal of stress. Things are finally quieting down here, and with the winter finally lifting, I intend to start singing at a local open mic, hosted by a restaurant I love.

As an individual dealing with ADD and depression, finding motivation each day, each week and each month to continue to fight to do the things I love and not lose my mind is difficult. Each day, I battle feeling unmotivated and as a result, pile my plate high with other projects. I rarely finish anything I start.

A great performance is always a struggle. And I suppose I shouldn't expect to never struggle as an artist. I hope that my continual struggle will pay off soon. :)

Finding Creativity in a Corporate World
fairy, Mischief
captainsquiggly
I recently experienced something rather horrid. I almost lost track of who I was and thus my creativity. Creativity is not needed in the corporate world, nor is it really needed in teaching. Teaching is based on fact and skill and effective communication, much like the office job I work.

How does one keep the balance without going crazy?

Be Wise. Be happy. And Fuck the Corporate World.
enlightenment
captainsquiggly
Once upon a time I dreamed that I would work as a performer. By the time I was 18 I had tons of vocal problem. I could barely talk without my voice breaking. I saw expensive doctor after expensive doctor, all the while my mom pushing me to move forward with my singing. Shit got old and I decided to try my hand at other types of careers.

I've been an office worker for about six months now. I enjoy my job well enough. It pays the rent and the bills and it allows me to go home, teach voice and, on occasion, perform. 

For the past year and three months, I've been studying with a woman who teaches Speech Level Singing. This has changed my life. Singing has never been easier. I can't remember the last time I cracked when I was talking or singing. If I did crack, I could (almost) instantaneously fix it. 

I now have 4 vocal students and am in the process of acquiring my certification to become a speech level certified teacher myself. It's time to go back to marketing myself as a wedding singer. The website is going up. The recording equipment will be dusted off. It's time to reclaim the life I wanted five years ago.

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