May I be honest for a moment? I can't decide which is more important to me: Following your dreams, or making money.
Everyone out there is telling us to do what we love and the money will follow. But no one has instructions on how to carry on when 'what you love' turns out to be writing and brewing beer. If you want to make money, you know what you don't be? A writer or a brewer. It turns out that no money follows. At all. Unless you count free beer (I do, but only a little).These are probably two of the most unlucrative (nonlucrative?) careers out there. Because guess what? There is one J.K Rowling and one Adolph Coors and we are not them.
We made this move, this 'career-change' as I am fond of calling it because I imagine it makes me sound less insane, almost exactly a year ago. And while I wish I could sing to you ballads of our triumph and bravery now at the first annual, I knew all along that wouldn't be the case.
I'm not complaining. I went into this with both eyes open. We did this because we believe in dreams, we believe in risks, and we didn't want Mr.V to work for a few more years at a job he hated and then one day wake up and we own a house and two cars and are used to living in a level of comfort that we would have been much, much more hesitant to leave.
O magazine lands in my mailbox every month telling me to follow my north star, or my bliss, or my passions. And it's not just the big O telling me this--it's our entire culture. The Dream Machine. Heavy in the ether is the idea that if you are brave enough to do what you truly, truly love--happiness will follow.
I'm not saying that isn't true. It's still too soon to tell.
But there we were, my husband and I, walking to the car after our first 'date' in months. The date was going around to breweries where they feed us free beer because we bring it to them in return. And it hit me that I just don't know if it's worth it.
I really don't. I'm saying this to offer it up for your consideration. There is another side to all this. I believe you should follow your dreams but what if your dreams are careers that earn basically no money? Mr. V has traded in that awful soul-sucking job for one he enjoys. But it has been a huge, huge sacrifice and I'm not saying it isn't worth it. I'm just telling you, I don't know yet.
There are times I wonder if we should throw in the towel and go take the highest paying jobs we can find. Work up from there.
All of this may never, ever pay off.
But you see, it might. And so I just keep going.
I am Vesuvius, and I will trade you beer for sweaters.
Oprah, society, culture - all they say about happiness & success is BS.ReplyDelete
It's no secret you & I see the world in different colors, sister, but for me the sense of peace & happiness in life have become bolder as my faith has grown.
"not as the world gives do I give to you." - John 14:27
So, from my perspective, Oprah/society/culture/The Secret - they just really have no darn clue what the heck they're talking about. But whatever you two do with your lives I love you & am proud of you both for following your dreams.
I'm a dream follower too, and so is Ryan. When he told his parents he wanted to be a pastor, they said to him "But you will make so little money." And so we do. Oakes Fields was a dream as well, something that many people - friends, my Dad - discouraged me from doing. And yet, it turned out for the best. I love my flexible days, and even though there are times that almost break me (like the entire month of June), it is worth it for my freedom and my passion. I never did well with bosses or scheduled work. I do much better with my own deadlines, my own timetable - and I always finish early. Oakes Fields was a small dream, a drop in the bucket. My big dream - my real dream- is to be a novelist, like you, and I know that will take lots of time, talent, persistence and, let's face it...luck. I do believe in following your dreams, but I also believe in not letting your dreams ruin your life. Your dreams should work within your life rather than run it. Does that make sense? So, be a writer, chase that dream, but maybe work at Starbucks on the side. Be a Pastor, love your job, but take as many funerals and weddings as you can for extra money. You need to LIVE until you reach the dream, because chasing a dream down until you are bent and bloody SOUNDS noble, but in reality it can ruin everything around you - including relationships. So, what am I saying in a long-winded fashion? YES. Chase those dreams. Be a dreamer. But embrace that you may need to walk two roads at the same time: The practical road of life alongside the dreamer road. One is mundane and boring, but flat and reliable, and the other is a towering mountain. But somehow, they both end up at the same place.ReplyDelete
And that is my Oprah moment for today.
(Like your sister, I dislike Oprah for many reasons).
See I guess the question to ask is what's more important? Two cars or not hating your life? Cause there are alot of miserable bastards out there who have that two car life. We see them everyday and thank god that whatever other crap we have going on at least we're not them.ReplyDelete
I don't think it's about success or accomplishment and more about how we look at both ourselves and our lives. It's not as race or a contest it's a journey and it's only ever done when we're dead. Keep moving and see where the next day takes you, so long as you don't hate your life I think you're doing it right.
There are great books about the pursuit of dreams and pages of pithy truths and aphorisms. It all lends me to believe most of humanity has been in your place. There are times to cut bait, forgive the fisherman in me, but I have left the pool late and weary only to have some big brown trout smack the water in a mocking remonstrance..leading me to believe there is much to be said for persistence , and even more to be said of tactics and strategy.ReplyDelete
You are simply too young, both of you, to cave, sell out, leave the game, whatever (look up the literature), you are not Olympic athletes that will never have the chance again, life thankfully, in spite of what Fitzgerald said, has many 2nd acts, and dreams morph, change and shift as the weather does over the horizon you are pursuing. Money will come if money is what you want,(refer to the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want...") The fact that you have two young girls who are already pining for their dreams (and let us hope to God their dreams evolve and mature!) creates not an obstacle, but a rich vein into the pulse of your lives. A writer's life, hopefully, is a long one,and the story is long with many turns and twists. Kid, it's not the end of the First Chapter.. have patience to see it to the end and be grateful you have the chance to chase the horizon, make another cast, live to fight another day...(see the literature)
It's the dream that makes us who we are as a species and the plane never alights, the masterpiece is but a shadow, the country but a fabled utopia stuck to the ceiling in Plato's cave, if the dreamer does not aspire and carry on.
It' easy to spill out this
advice, but believe me, it does get better.
You might not read this sorry I didn't get to see this sooner. If you ever want to talk and let it all out over this I'll be here. We moved to AZ to follow our bliss and after a while we went for the money. Now who knows? Where are we now? Bliss or Money...now niether!ReplyDelete
That's just my expreance.
Ugh, I think we all know exactly what you mean. And don't want to take a "Life sucks and then you die" approach if we can avoid it.ReplyDelete
My life seems to be an unending roller coaster of seasons of awesomeness and seasons of challenge. And I'm trying to make the transitions from one to the other and back again with the realization that all of them are temporary.
Can I just say how awesome you are for being real?