Tag Archives: hobbies

Time for Creativity. Time for Pause. Time for Solitude.

One of my great regrets of all time, that is all time leading up to today, is my lack of proper time dedicated to reading. While I’ve wasted countless hours of my life transfixed in Jezebel articles, Facebook posts about hilarious dogs and babies being successful or unsuccessful babies, and magazine articles sunk into overflowing bathtubs with their wet pages stuck together before completion, the number of full-fledged novels I’ve read in my life – is something I regrettably can count on my own two hands.

Yet language and writing has always been a passion of mine, more than the drawing and painting my parents had pushed my talents towards. While as a child I stayed up late at night to read trashy childhood series such as Sweet Valley Twins and The Babysitters Club: Little Sister editions, I refused to read actual serious books. Why? I’m not sure where my rebellion of all things “adult” and “responsible” came from, but it sure started early. My father, with his stern aggression and judgement around my own interests, made me hate authority and turn against it at all costs. Although my father was a man of physics textbooks and oft right-wing historical non-fiction and editorials, for some reason literature got mixed up into the world of authority, my arch nemesis, the land of academia and maturity, of all the things we should do with our time when we have it in between hours staring at the second hand of the clock hung above the school door and the darkness that is our daily rest.

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Today’s Therapy Session: Try, it Might Be Fun

So in today’s talk-about-myself session, we discussed a variety of topics, namely my issue with stress-related binge eating and my fear of doing things that might make me happy. The takeaway and assignment was to pause every hour to a notification that would remind myself to “try, it might be fun.”

I have so much damn anxiety about everything that the simplest activities become overly challenging and complicated. It’s frustrating because it really hinders my relationships, professional opportunities, and damages my health. Most of it, clearly, is all in my head, but that doesn’t make “it” any less real. It is real, because it effects what I do every second of the day.

She asked me to think of my life if I just did what I wanted to do, versus caring what other people think. Problem is, I have no idea what I want to do. My entire life has been based on what other people want. It would have been nice to grow up in a household where my parents supported one being average as opposed to being special, just like everyone else versus an asset to brag about. But that wasn’t the case. Yes, I’m 30 now and I should get over it, but therapists are in business for a reason.

But what would my life be like if I could do anything and not care what anyone else thought? Geez, I really don’t know. Maybe at this point I would take some of my life savings and move somewhere more affordable, get a job with a flexible schedule and take art classes. I’m not sure I’d really do that or want to do that. I wouldn’t be happy dipping into my savings when I could be earning six figures a year. I’d always be berating myself for giving up the income and security later in life. I don’t know if my fantasy of living in Santa Fe and becoming a waitress actually makes any sense. I love living in the Bay Area because of the climate and the energy. Could I find a place I loved differently but equally anywhere else?

I feel like if I did that one day I wouldn’t be able to tell my parents. I’d just make up some story about how I’m still working for my startup years later… or I’ve started working for some big corporation where every single asset I write is published under other people’s names. I’m just an anonymous well-paid stable sufficient healthy regular worker who everyone loves and who will never ever be fired. But in reality I’m working for $3 an hour plus tips in Santa Fe, dipping deep into my savings to afford healthcare, and taking figuring drawing classes on the side. They’d never have to know.

That said, I would. I’d have to know what I left behind. The opportunity to save $50k per year… and instead trying to make enough to break even. Being some sort of half starving artist with a savings to prolong pre-starvation purgatory. What kind of life would that be? I never felt like a true artist, the one who gives up everything to create. I’m not really talented, or that talented. I could learn, but even then — I don’t think I’d ever want to paint to sell my work. Artists who paint for a living have to create what other people want. That would be much, much worse than a career in marketing. I don’t think I’d be any good at it.

Try, it might be fun. Well, if I say that about every whim I have I’ll try a whole bunch of things and end up… I’m not supposed to be thinking negatively about everything but I do. Because I’m a practical person. So maybe I shouldn’t try everything. But I could try something. I just want a hobby that I can commit to which inspires me and makes me feel like my life is about more than work and sleep. Because really right now that is all it is. Which is pretty pathetic for a childless 30 year old.

Q3 Spending Breakdown: $13,620.56

From July to September, my spending was a little ridiculous. It all started with the DUI, which cost me $3,000 in legal fees even before the big fine that will hit in Q4. The other large expense of the quarter was my Canon 5D plus a flash for it. Photography is an expensive hobby. I did manage to also spend $1082 on clothes and other shopping… how did that happen? Yikes. (see the graph below.)


Unfortunately the legal fees and DUI fees will continue to take a toll on Q4. I have $750 more left in the legal fees, and expect a $2,000 fine. The good news is that I have a chance to obtain $10,000 total in bonuses for this year, which should help me up my networth, and instead will go towards my stupidity. My income this year including bonuses will be a minimum of $95k.  That helps. I’m really trying hard to prove myself at work so I can move up the career (and salary ladder) but it’s pretty clear that I’m still learning as I go, and things take me longer than they should. I can only hope I can prove myself going forward.

 

 

 

No More Voice Lessons… For Now

My voice teacher just emailed me and asked me about scheduling January lessons. I’ve been going to lessons twice a month for the last year, which cost me $170 a month. Given that I’m now spending $200 a month for group therapy, it is important to pull back somewhere. It’s a tough decision to say no to lessons, but it’s something I need to do right now. I recently started dance class once a week which is $60 / month, and I feel like this is an area I need more work on anyway in terms of auditions. I’d love if I could afford all of the above, but I really can’t. (Well, not if I want to save $20,000 next year.)

I feel bad about telling my voice teacher I can’t afford lessons right now. It’s tough being self employed, and even though I’m sure my $170 a month won’t break her budget, it’s much easier to cancel a subscription than voice lessons with a woman who I respect and actually want to pay.

That said, I need to take care of my mental health issues right now. And that’s costing me a small fortune. When I got hired full time I sought out voice lessons as a reward to myself. I do think I’ve improved a bit, but I’ll never be a great singer. It’s more or less a hobby of mine. But at this point in my life it’s just not worth investing in. My sanity, however, is.