Student to Self-Employed: What to Resist in Transition
It's been a long time since I've written about personal growth and general enlightenment. As noted in my last post, I've been so caught up in the gogogogo/run-and-gun/guerilla shooting style that it's daunting to realize the time. It's already December, when we just started celebrating Summer 6ixteen. And in these last few months of not going back to studenthood, there's been a lot of inner contemplation about direction. It's hard to beat the 9-5 when your entire family (immediate or otherwise) and friends (academically or professionally) stick to that jive.
Why do I feel like I'm running in circles?!
Do I even matter? Should I keep doing this video thing? Is it worth it?
That biweekly payroll seems nicer than worrying about finding new work.
I'm a lost boy.
Do I even matter?
Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful I've been getting by so-far. But I had no idea how hard it is to let go. To let go of past perceptions on how academia works, how careers work, and how life works in general. And after being so caught up in either video projects, or caught up in (lonesome dark) thought, I really don't think there is a way things "work".
Things just are.
"There is no reality, only perception"
(I remember hearing something like that in high school while watching House M.D.)
And you create your perception. That means you decide if you're living well or not.
Everyone says it, but it's cliché for a reason: don't compare yourself to others.
And that's easy to do on the most surface/physical level. "I can definitely keep to my own goals and needs. Why would I even want that car/bag/job/phone/outfit". But it goes deeper than that. This is still hard to communicate through words (I'm just starting to understand it), but I think that cliché-quote should read
"Don't compare their apples to your oranges"
Everyone gets off in their own way, but everyone (in some form or another) wants the same things in life:
Happiness and Love
How each of us gets there is a matter of apples and oranges. And here's the thing…
We only see apples.
Don't mistake their apples for your oranges.
You can see apples, but you'll be able to feel oranges. Then feel happiness and love.
Even though I'm not a student, I've been back to campus a lot this fall (working on video projects for a few different clients). I thought this was great;
I get to be around my old friends and not sit in lecture, great!
I get to live a college student's nightlife without the college student's school life, great!
I get to use the free Thode library wifi, great!
But that did multiple things that I should have seen sooner. The following list/descriptions are more so for those who want to transition out of that academic, high-paced, student environment, and into the self-employed demographic of creatives. (*Note* this doesn't apply as well to those who require professional school to follow their dreams – i.e. doctors/dentists/lawyers)
a traditional student who needs traditional schooling to pursue their obsession and passion as a profession.
"Wow, she's always dreamed about becoming a general practitioner... and now she's in medical school – she is such an inspiring academic!"
THINGS TO RESIST:
- Academics and their mindset
- Academics will always be academics, and if you're an aspiring artistpreneur, be careful. I'm sure if they're your friends, they mean no harm – but it's inescapable for them to at least subconsciously push their beliefs on you. They need school/that promotion to get where they want to be, you don't. If you did, you'd know that. They need to look forward to a weekend off campus, you don't. If you did, you'd know that. They need x, you don't. If you did, you'd know that. Don't get trapped into thinking you need their [poison] apple.
- Academics and their habits
- They have a schedule. They need a schedule, as do I and as do you (in variable form). Their schedule is 9-5-life; or "1. Do school/work things, then 2. Have a life". Now this isn't always true, because a lot of students/professionals know how to make the most out of life, which is making your work your life and your life your work – it's not binary. Just be careful of compartmentalizing, because their apples tend to sprout only half their scheduled time. Year-round oranges are the goal. It's not about creating a good work-life balance – you're in it all the time. And finally,
- Academics and their goals
- This seems obvious, but there are some goals (one in particular that I'm still wrapping myself around) that are ingrained in us through all sorts of media/people. And that is the latter half of Happiness and Love. Love; a wife/husband, a family, (I'd like to add more to this list, but I think that's all that's pushed onto us – maybe friends?). A family is the end-all and be-all. I can't really comment on this yet, as I haven't started my own, but mass media directs us to this (if not the traditional career path). Get a steady job and grow a contractual and biological family. The only insight I can put to this is that it shouldn't be the end-all and be-all. That's like saying getting a degree is your end-all and be-all. It's what you do with it and how it forwards you to your oranges that counts. Goals, in that sense, are meant to be selfish. (This resistance isn't just for the creativepreneur, but should be followed by everyone [in my opinion])
What you should do is stay focused on your own mindset/habits/goals.
Acknowledge your friends' mindsets/habits/goals, accept and celebrate any of their apples, but always always always come back to yourself. We all try to grow our Happiness and Love, but you have your own little greenhouse with your own required ecosystem. Don't look to romanticized movie characters or the glorified settler. Honestly ask yourself what makes you happy and what gives you love... then get it.
Is it making lots of money? If it is, do it in a way that definitely makes you feel that orange.
Is it providing a service to others? If it is, do it in a way that definitely makes you feel that orange.
Is it performing what you do best? If it is, do it in a way that definitely makes you feel the orange.
Is it all of the above? If it is, do it in a way that definitely makes you feel the orange.
Don't limit your thoughts to everyone's apples... be free to find/choose/grab your own orange.