The in-between Life...
When you're young your parents (my parents) always said, "Pick a career where you make lots of money." I was one of those kids that spent so much time daydreaming. I invented stories and so many tales in my head, a thousand times a day. I memorized lines from my favorite Disney movies, The little Mermaid, Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, to name a few. I used to think I had a disease, like something was really wrong with me. I was never good at drawing. Then again, I only took one art class and enjoyed pastels and mosaic art. I really did enjoy computer art but they only offered one class of that too. I was always drawn by music so much so, I decided to join the school band. I was a bad mama-jama with the clarinet. Then I also wanted to become a ballerina. I signed up for a dance school (Bronx Dance Theatre, I believe, can't remember the exact name) in the Bronx and I remember my father, showing up at the school and saying, "She will not be returning."
He didn't ask me if this is what I wanted to do. I basically had no say in the choice of my career. He said there was no money in dance. My chest collapsed to meet my feet. While I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to become a ballerina, after learning the shoes are not pointy. It was required we learned how to walk on the edge of our toes, ouch! Talk about a reevaluation of a dream. Although, I was considering, maybe ballerina wasn't for me, I felt so trapped in this dream world. Band (another passion of mine) I excelled in middle school and then __ we moved. Pennsylvania became my new home and band classes were offered early before school started. That would involve my mom dropping me off because no school buses were available that early in the morning. Obviously, that wasn't going to happen. My mother had to be at work at 6am and I sure as hell wasn't asking my step-father. For reasons, I will not include in this blog for now. I had so many aspirations and creative outlets I felt just needed to be developed. Unfortunately, my parents didn't want to hear about creativity. They wanted to see me excelling academically and go after what they considered, the best route (money green). So I did just that_ focus on my academics. Focus on the safest route.
I changed my mind 100 times as a kid because my thought process was, " What can I enjoy doing and make a lot of money doing it?" No one ever said do what you love except the teachers who also complained about their salaries. So I decided to go to college. Why? Because it seemed like the obvious choice. The only thing I really knew was I didn't want to end up like my parents. I didn't want to work a dead-end job. After being a student at Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology School I quickly realized how much I enjoyed my computer class and loved, loved my teacher (Mrs. Baller). That’s when the lightbulb went off and I decided I was going to become a computer programmer. She saw potential in me and pushed me to do more. I thought I finally found my career. Until I went to college and failed my programming class at Kutztown University. I struggled hard understanding how to create programs for arrays and buttons that worked. I quickly realized I wasn't going to become a great programmer like I thought originally in high school.
So I had to change my major. This time I decided business but I wasn't giving up on computers. Why? Because I knew there was money in that field and I kinda liked it. I also began learning about myself in college. I didn't do well in huge classes where lines formed near a mic to ask a question. So I transferred to a technical college, DeVry University, and graduated with a bachelors degree in business information systems. Ironically, I didn't end up in the IT department, and I never programmed anything.
I started my career as an Intern in the branded products marketing department of a generic pharmaceuticals company. I hated marketing classes in college. However, in the real world (at least in pharma), it wasn't so bad. So I decided to apply for a full time position and ended up in the expenses/reimbursement section of the company. I was really good at building reports and talking to the programmers, I guess that is where my degree came into play. That is how my career started. It wasn't so bad at first, I always had a particular respect for math. Believe it or not, English/literature was my weakest subject. One of the biggest reasons why I never considered majoring in creative writing.
Now we fast forward, I have worked in the pharma industry since I was about 21 years old. Almost twelve years later, here I am, questioning if this was right for me (insert shaking my head emoji here). While I have worked really hard to get to my Senior management title, I dread doing the same cumbersome calculations for the rest of my young life. Getting bored easily, is a very common trait amongst creative individuals.
After publishing my first book in March 2018, I realized that I enjoyed writing books. I enjoy performing (although, I had to overcome serious stage fright) and I love the idea of being my own boss. However, I don't enjoy the idea of being a broke boss, so I am just stuck in this dilemma of money versus passion. Developing a passion into a career is tough (extremely hard). You doubt yourself when you see others excel so smoothly. You start to doubt your abilities, similar to my story of becoming a ballerina. Except this writing I developed unknowingly. I kept journal entries since I was a kid to practice my English, that later turned into a personal collection of my poetry.
Many would say screw it and just go after your dreams. Chase after it and don't look back. Yea I could do that but I also have two children to feed and a house to uphold. My husband is also trying to pursue his dream. So if we both quit our jobs; I'm not sure how we would feed our children and keep a roof over our heads. Until I figure it out, I will be living in this space, where professionally I have excelled but I don't enjoy what I do. Along with, developing a passion that I enjoy but can't flourish at maximum speed. My days consist of constant organizing. Making sure I force myself to prioritize my profession because it pays the bills. Finding little pockets thorough-out the day to feed my creative thoughts and export something onto the notes section of my phone. Sometimes, I have to sacrifice sleep if I want to write.
As a working-mom you really don't have much time for yourself, so imagine trying to balance all of this with a ten and a one year old. I would love to spend hours writing poetry, developing new blogs, researching better avenues to market my book Molt, and possibly open my own company. Just like anything else, my creativity hangs by a short thread. The thread that every time I try to cut loose the scissors stop working. I hope the day will arrive where I can find the perfect formula and turn my passion into my profession. I don't want to continue as a creative living between the horizons__ maybe today will be the day. Are you a person living in an in-between life__ state? Are you stuck between a rock and hard place like I am? I'd love to hear what techniques you use to expand out of this place, as I struggle to find my exit.