I feel like getting too caught up in a job is something that happens to artists and actually almost any young person coming out of college now. Our generation has had it rough, no jobs, what used to be an entry-level job that paid you money (that you could then use for rent and food) is now an unpaid internship, more and more people are moving home, (which only is a wise career move if they live in a place where you can work in your field at said unpaid internship), and in general it’s just hard to make money right now. The result of this, at least for me and a lot of people I know, is to take the first job you can find. It’s usually in some unrelated field, (often the service industry), and pays enough that you survive, but you end up working a lot of hours doing something totally unrelated to your goals. Except for the money part, that definitely helps moving towards goals.
So, in this little hamster wheel of not making enough money to quit time/soul sucking job, and not really having time to pursue your passions full time, how do you make it work? There is an end to this, but you have to stay focused and never actually stop trying to make it happen. For me, the most deadly part of this situation is the temptation to coast. I get tired, the daily grind, the very early mornings, and I just stop seeking out new opportunities. I come home from my eight hour work day and crash, with netflix and the internet keeping me company.
Secret #1 is to decide that it’s ok to crash now and then. Eight hour days that start at 6AM and consist of standing on your feet all day are tiring. So is chasing preschoolers for a few hours. It’s ok to decide the day is over at 3pm once in a while.
Secret #2 is to schedule time to do your thing, whatever it may be. I decide about a week in advance when my practice time will be, and then plan around it. This time becomes sacred, only getting moved around as a last resort.
Secret #3 is to do things that make you happy. It might be walking home from work a couple days a week. It might be that dance class you can afford, but only just. I think sharing meals is important so my boyfriend and I cook dinner together almost everyday. It takes a couple hours out of my day, but I think it’s worth the time.
It’s important to remember that no matter what you’re currently doing, you’re still moving forward. I just think it’s ok to move slower and be a little happier.