I have two regular jobs. They’re interesting but not passionate. about a year ago i had a series of light bulb passionate moments, and tried to turn my passion into a tiny job #3. being an international arriving in a foreign country gives you a different perspective on ‘what this place needs’… you know, bar room talk like: What this place needs is a hot dog stand. What this place needs is an English-speaking psychologist who specializes in law of attraction. What this place needs is a Starbucks. What this place needs is a crunchy granola breakfast place that serves free range eggs and nitrate free bacon (like my favorite one back home in Vermont).
Most of these ‘bar room’ ideas won’t work. And you begin to think that your idea won’t work either. I mean, if it’s such a great idea why hasn’t someone else done it? This place needs a running group just for slow runners, not elite athletes, just people who want to get off the couch (like couch to 5K but in real-life). This place needs a big swapmeet/flea market/buy&sell shop just for vinyl albums. This place needs a fine arts daycare/after-school program for latchkey kids. This place needs kids’ music classes that aren’t so serious – how about teaching them music but doing it through teaching them the Beatles …
like i said, most bar room ideas don’t work. but they’re really cool dreams.
i had one of these cool dreams, and a year ago I started to to poke away at it. frankly i didn’t care if it didn’t work financially because i loved doing it so much.
then in March something happened:
when this hobby/passion started to really take off and be successful back in March, i had to quit drinking for 5 days straight to make it through a big client job (cuz this is all in addition to my regular job). i knew then that to deliver the kind of work it required, i would not be able to drink at all. i remember i pulled an all-nighter, and celebrated by having a bath in the morning with a cup of tea before crawling into bed at 9 am. now i realize that this passion — the work it requires, the sacrifices in time — it is what led me to KNOW that i had to quit drinking (eventually) for good. There just wasn’t room in my life for passion and booze. i knew that booze had to go, even then, even back in March (4 months before i actually quit). there was never any question about not pursuing the passion once it got hold of me.
Then my small puttering at #3 led me to the Big Contract. Then my smaller clients seemed to love me MORE. then i preached (to myself) to avoid exhaustion at all costs.
I’m sure everyone with a newborn would say they’re exhausted but it’s worth it! i’m sort of like someone with a newborn – EXCEPT i get to control when my newborn cries and i get to control how much sleep i have … at first i was just so damn thrilled that #3 was working (after a year of very small successes). now it’s like “ok, what happened to my regularly scheduled lazy life?” and while i will be fine, i have to find a new normal …
And I can happily and thankfully say that drinking never comes up as an option on how to unwind. Even as recently as the end of September, when exhausted i would think of drinking. That reflex or instinct seems to have left me now. There’s just not a shit hope in hell of me having a drink and being able to thrive in my current life. The only analogy i can think of … it’d be like being up with a colicky newborn at 3 a.m., and the baby is vomiting every twenty minutes, and you think that drinking two bottles of wine would make it better … it is Just. Not. Possible.
finally, i wonder if it’s ridiculous to continuously refer to my “job #3 passion/thingy” … maybe it’s already clear what i’m doing. Is it a little bit irritating when people share parts of their story but not all of it? (i know, i know, we all want some anonymity but i’m wondering what that serves exactly, in my case, and honestly now it feels weirdly pretentious to keep talking about something without saying what it is… it feels forced now).
i think i’ll have a contest where you guess what #3 is (everyone except Mrs D can guess).
what are your thoughts on “what this place needs” or “exhaustion” or “filling your life with passion” or what my “#3 job passion/thingy” is?
Or you can just press “Like” and keep going … : ) Happy Saturday everyone!