For most of my adult life I have been juggling two careers. I am a performing artist (actor, writer, musician) who has a day job in an office. I have never had the means or the courage to pursue my creative practice exclusively, but I have made the decision to do so now.
It was hard for me to get to this point. Let’s face it, generally speaking careers in the Arts, while highly satisfying, don’t necessarily provide a comfortable living. And, as one gets older the appeal and mystique of being a starving artist starts to lose its lustre. Sometimes life also throws you curve balls (in my case a partner who suffered a minor traumatic brain injury) and one simply has to step up and make sacrifices so that you and yours can survive. I put my creativity on the back burner, for what I thought would be a short time. Five years later, the injury is still resolving, so my decision to leave the job that has, up until now, kept us afloat, was not taken lightly. A lot of fear needed to be addressed. How will we survive? Will we be able to make ends meet? Will we ever be able to take a vacation again? Retire?
We hear the expression Life is short all the time. That’s because it is. And, right or wrong, we are inundated with the idea that there is a true path for all of us, something we are meant to do. If you don’t feel like you are on course, it doesn’t matter how well you do at whatever you are doing. It doesn’t feel like you are contributing to the world around you in the way that you were meant to, and there is great longing and disappointment in that. I worked hard at my day job. I became very good at it, but I never felt like I was where I was supposed to be. There was no authentic expression of self in it for me, no passion. And a conversation with a dear friend and mentor has helped me to realize that once you have been an artist, and you tap into passion and creativity as your primary driving forces, you need them or you feel empty. They are the conduits through which you experience the joys and sorrows of life. You cannot live without them.
I’ve finally figured this out in my mid-forties. I don’t know where this realization will take me, but I want to live differently, to experience the world in a way that enriches me. This blog will focus on this next phase of my life and hopefully express the insight I gain as I face the manifestations of fear while leaving my gilded cage.