*This post is inspired by the book, In Stitches by Tony Youn. I received a complimentary copy of the book as a member of the From Left to Write Book Club. We write posts inspired by the book, not reviews. All comments and opinions of the book are my own, and I did not receive any compensation, monetary, or otherwise, for this post.*
When I was a kid, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never based my answer on money. My answers were always based on following my dreams. For a short time, I wanted to be a lawyer. Then I wanted to be a librarian. A teacher was next, and finally, I decided on becoming an actor. I went to school to study Theater, and was content with my career choice, regardless of if I became rich from it or not. I was an artist, and I didn’t need much more than that.
As I got older, the desire for a stable life took over the way I felt about performing. The auditions, the no’s, the yeses with little to no pay…the thrill was gone, and I wanted something different. More specifically, something different that paid a decent salary. Fortunately, while I was doing my theatre thing, I was also doing my education thing, and I was able to find a great, permanent job in the field fairly quickly. The pay was…okay, but at least it was consistent, and I was still able to lead with my heart in a position that was both challenging and fulfilling.
Once again, however, things are shifting in me. I still love (mostly) what I do, but, I’m a lot different now than I was when I first started. I’m a mom now. I have daycare expenses, tumbling fees, insurance for two to worry about. The okay pay isn’t really cutting anymore, and the challenges don’t feel nearly as fulfilling now that I don’t have the luxury of falling apart when I get home after a stressful day anymore. I want something different. Or more money. Or both.
I mean, my heart is still in it (mostly). But it’s challenging to think about other folks’ children when I’m concerned about whether I will be able to provide for my own child’s needs. So, what’s next for me? I have no idea. I know I just want more. I hope I can get more work that will fill my heart, but there’s a good chance I’ll have to just go for the path that will fill my pockets.