Sunday, August 07, 2016

Should I Quit My Daydream?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It was a question that was irrelevant whilst the mister and I were in the process of starting over in Aussie land.

Two years deep into the move and having managed to break into the workforce and getting into the 9-5 grind once more, I find myself asking that question again.

Is it time to stop?

I recently told a friend that as one-half of a migrant couple whose game plan # 1 was to find steady incomes and build our retirement fund, I was happy to land any stable and permanent work that I could qualify for. I did not need to be in love with my job. 

As of this writing I am 7 days into a role that is exactly that : permanent, stable, doable. All good things. I am grateful. Truly I am.

And yet...

I remember our first months in Sydney, a year or so ago. I was unemployed and so I had plenty of time on my hands. I spent a lot of that time making hand-painted postcards, filling my sketchbook with illustrations and drawings and uploading them on Instagram. I got likes from familiar followers and complete strangers and I beamed. In the absence of a 9-5 day job, I daydreamed. A lot. Could I perhaps do this ... and get paid for it?

I thought, hey, why the hell not? So I decided in my unemployed stupor that what I wanted to do when I grow up was draw pretty things. To make its seem irrevocable, I sent my best friend a postcard (hand-painted of course) declaring this dream.

Shortly after, I was able to find work. As it happens, when you have a day job, there is only so much time in between one work day to the next that you can spend in creative pursuits. This is the reality of a grown up.

The reality of a grown up is that you need money. A good amount of it to feed and clothe yourself and put a roof over your head. A great amount for other shiny things. (A much greater amount if you are thinking of reproducing!)

The reality is, me creating pretty things will never earn me that much money. There's much more to earning a living making pretty things than a dozen likes on Instagram. Time, effort, blood, sweat and tears and a good amount of luck are needed.

The reality of most grown up is that to earn a substantial amount of money, you get a job that's not as sexy as say, making pretty things. Having said that, perhaps what I should strive to be when I grow up is to  someone who takes an unsexy job and becomes freaking awesome at it. After all, the unsexy job pays for sexy things like tickets to the opera, paid holiday leaves, wine, etc.

But hey, it can pay for lessons on making pretty things.

So I say don't quit the daydream. But don't quit the day job either.


Didi said...

I think that having a not sexy, stable job should not stop you from creating beautiful things.

Nowadays, I have a dream of becoming a baker. But when I think of it, the baker's salary would not afford to sustain myself. as in on my own. So for now, I enjoy this since I cannot work, I will just enjoy this time to create.

Go! Make postcards after work! Don't let the 9-5 stop you :-)

Charisse Salinas said...

Hi Didi! What a lovely surprise to see this comment from you :) Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. Truth is I am inspired by your creativity whether its breadmaking, food tripping and critiquing, and all the nifty writing that you do.

Here's to not quitting the daydream! :)