kim faires photography + stuff
I subscribe to Hugh MacLeod’s daily cartoon. Above is what arrived in my inbox today. And this is what Hugh wrote about it:
The cartoon is a play on the well-known Bible quote, “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust”, of course. Do the math…
Not that I think there’s anything wrong with a regular paycheck per se; it’s just what a poor life this is, if that’s the only reason for being somewhere.
OH BOY! CAN I RELATE TO THIS!
[Breathe, Kim, breathe…]
Actually, I can relate to many of his cartoons, but today’s really is special because it perfectly captures my struggles of late.
The most important line in that little blurb is this: what a poor life this is, if that’s the only reason for being somewhere.
Yup. Uh huh. Mm hm.
Because it works like this: I CRAVE–crave I say!–an easy path. A path that I can step onto that will take me to a solid, comfortable, established ending.
Like an escalator. Or a moving sidewalk.
I would love to have a regular paycheck. [Bam. Every two weeks, a hunk of cash gets dropped into my piggy bank! How glorious!]
I would love to have a sense of structure that makes working relatively easy. [Be here by this time. Leave at this time. Get stuff done within that time. Do whatever you want outside that time. It’s built-in discipline, people! No batteries needed!]
But, most of all, I would LOVE to have a simple answer to the question, “So, Kim, what do you do?”
Yeah. I would love to be able to knock that question off without feeling like:
Because the fact of the matter–for me–right now, is that I do not have a regular paycheck. I do not have a legitimate job–at least not by society’s standards. I’m not even making $$ for what I’m doing right now. I’m just trying to build skills so that I can eventually [hopefully] get paid for it.
And I feel an ASTOUNDING amount of shame about that.
So much so, that I often–regularly–find myself wishing I had done things differently. Wishing that I had pursued a different path when I was younger.
WISHING [cough, cough] that I had gotten into law school.
[Holy crap. I can’t believe I just wrote that.]
[Actually, I lie. Of course I can believe I just wrote that.]
Yes, wishing that things had gone differently, all so that I could have a regular paycheck. AND an easy–and respectable–answer to the question, “What do you do?”
But that is not the way it is for me.
If I am going to do work that I enjoy, work that I think I am good at, and that I think will fulfill me, and that makes good use of my strengths, then I am going to have to keep walking the path I am on. I am going to have to keep learning, and struggling, so that I can build a career that fits me and is right for me.
It’s just that it’s so very, very hard.
And that regular paycheck just looks so very, very appealing.
But it cannot be the only reason for being somewhere.
At least not for me.
Ideally, I’d like both: a career that fulfills me, but also has a regular paycheck.
I haven’t found that yet.
So I guess that leaves nothing to do, but to keep plowing ahead.
I just wish I had a cool answer to that damn question. Shame free.
Thanks for reading.