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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mid-life Breakthrough

Creating and creating a living aren't always synonymous.  The thought of being able to do the things I love and make a good living at it is always there but the execution, the actual manifestation of it, has eluded me.  I seem to have the ability to use my imagination in many ways, creating fun creatures for Halloween and other holidays, making our large yard into something pleasing to the eye, and planning and producing events with my esteemed colleagues, but there isn't a money-making bone in that proverbial body.  This middle-aged time on earth is full of reflection, regret, brainstorming and frustration.

I saw a quote the other day, posted by my amazing husband, Robert.

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.”
― Jason Mraz

I'm not used to contemplating quotes by song writers but if something strikes a chord with me, I don't care if it was barked out by a seal.

I have had a level of frustration for years.  I used to only remember my dreams where I was completely frustrated during the whole dream. The only place I've felt really free was creating art or producing Halloween & Vine and now Hallowbaloo.  I'm passionate about it, I want to work on it all the time.  There is a variety of tasks that keeps me from ever getting close to being bored, yet I haven't figured out how to do it for a "real" living.  An amazing friend of mine is on the verge of a breakthrough in her event planning career and I've started tapping into her expertise and guidance to see what can be created.  The ongoing issue is paying the bills.  I have to contribute to the household and I've been doing it inauthentically.

I've been inauthentic in the sense that I have many talents and I've been working in an office as an assistant.  I've gotten good at what I do, but it's usually an empty expression of the difference I can make in the world. 

A placement agency found me a temp-to-perm job as an "Administrative Specialist" and I started there two weeks ago.

At first, the amount of learning was astounding.  Day one: learn all these spreadsheets to manage those spreadsheets; day two: here are two more teams to support, pat on the back, have a nice day.  I have never been more sure that the "office assistant" chapter of my life has to come to a close and something else needs to happen.  Until it did, though, I decided to enjoy the job, make it into something fulfilling and make a difference while I was there.  I got kudos from my managers, I made a few mistakes but I managed to keep up with my myriad tasks.  (I even heard one of my managers on the phone saying she wanted me to go with the team to an Alaska business trip.) Make the best of it, lemonade, not so bad....more lies.

Today, I got an email at 6pm from the temp agency that said my contract had been closed and I was NOT to go to work tomorrow.  I am not sure what went awry but I'm guessing I'll find out tomorrow morning when I call them.

The interesting thing is the flood of so many emotions: happy, confused, angry, feeling like I'm a bad boy (a particularly old way of feeling), hating that I have to find another inauthentic job to pay the bills.

I'm writing this all out to get some perspective, to see my random thought processes, to create a new set of action items AND a different way of thinking about my value and ability to contribute.  A transformation, a state change, is way over due and I think this is the catalyst for that transformation.

First, I should distinguish who I'm "being" about income.  I've been being stuck, having to be responsible, doing the right thing.  No surprise I was left feeling all those disempowering feelings.  And to think how long I've allowed it.  Being stuck is a story, a made-up concept, a lie.  Being stuck is simply a way to not be responsible for using my talents to make good money, listening to the cultural conversations that the majority of artists are starving, get a "real" job, get your head out of the clouds, blah blah blah.  All of our human experience is made up of concepts that were created inside of language.  We are born into these cultural conversations and learn how to be human and don't even know everything is made up.  We as creatures on the planet forgot that we made up what we know and now we think it's real.  It's to be believed, to be honored and a life with which to be stuck. I give up being stuck tonight.

Second, I need to throw my proverbial hat over the wall and declare who I'll be from now on.  The wall is high, I have no idea how to get over it/around it, but I throw my favorite hat over the top and now I have to figure it out so I can have my hat back.

I'm promising that within the next few weeks I will cause a transformation in who I am around contributing to our household finances. I've been feeling like a breakthrough is nearby, around the next bend, so close.  Time to take the actions necessary to cause it.  Breakthroughs are what happen when your insights are coupled with action, otherwise they're just good ideas.  It's useful for me to remember that, to thank the little voice for sharing when it says, "But...", to remind myself (and to have those around me remind me) when I forget that I declared that I am being someone else now, being in action toward a fulfilling, satisfying, joyful and lucrative career.

By the end of 2014, I will be generating a yearly income of a minimum of $50k with plans for doubling that by 2016. This will spell "breakthrough" for me because I will be doing the creative things I love, making money and being unstoppable. 

I will create a timeline, milestones and actions to accomplish this and let the people that support me know what I'm up to by 11/9/13 and I will update it as it evolves.  Thanks for being a part of my life and allowing me to unfold this on this blog.

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