It’s well past midnight on my day off. This would be the time I get off work so I am keeping my bed time routine just the same. A bowl of cereal, with a handful of almonds, a little snack before bed time. So I though I’d share a few thoughts that have been running through my head lately.
In the past few years I’ve been dreaming about one day making a living as an artist. Because being an artist was never part of my plan, and it’s currently a side hustle that I am passionate about I need to keep my day job. My day job by the way is with Alaska Airlines where I’ve worked since 2004.
Here are 10 reason why my day job works for me in pursuing my dream.
- Travel. One of my passions is to travel. Travel opens up the senses to the world around me, to cultures, to nature, to art, to music, to different customs, to different traditions, to places old and new, to different smells, different climates, different surroundings and all of that is a huge well of inspiration when it comes to being creative. Working for an airline gives me an easier access to the world. Although it is not always easy to find the time and the money to travel, it certainly makes it easier than if I did any other day job.
- A steady paycheck. Since I have to pay bills a steady paycheck helps. It takes the stress out.
- Health benefits. Although we are fairly healthy, we don’t live in a country where health care is affordable. I do believe that positive changes have happened and are happening to one day have a state of the art healthcare for every soul, until that day I am happy that I have health care through my day job.
- Experiment. This is linked to #2. Having a steady paycheck allows me to try different little gigs without worrying if they pan out or not.
- No pressure. Bringing in income from creative endeavors is much much much harder than any day job. And it’s 10 times harder if there is already a family in the mix. Raising kids is expensive. I may survive months on ramen, but kids need better nutrition.
- Slow and steady does it. It may take me a long time to achieve my dream and that’s quite all right. Having a steady paycheck also helps to save money to pursue my dream. Although I’d love to spend all day long being creative, I am a mom, and sometimes more pressing issues are at hand. If a full time artist becomes possible for me at retirement so be it. That’s a pretty good retirement.
- Time to build confidence. I wished creativity was part of my life at a much earlier stage. But it wasn’t. I feel that if art was part of my life at an earlier age I would feel more confident. I work hard to find interesting ways to be creative, come up with interesting projects without feeling like I am just adding more to the noise. The internet is great place to share your ideas with the world, to find your niche and your audience. And at the same time it can also be a place that can add self-doubt because there is so much out there to make you feel overwhelmed, to make you feel like a fraud and make you compare yourself to others.
- Structure time. Although having all the time you need to be creative sounds great, it’s soooo easy to waste time when there is no boss to keep you in line. I used to work full time until recently. And I enjoy the ‘more’ freedom I have now but honestly I don’t think I have been any more creative than when I worked full time. I actually think that I valued my time much more when I worked full time, because the time to be creative was more limited and therefore more precious. I’ve noticed that working part time I conform to other people’s needs and schedules a lot more. In other words, because I am not at ‘work’ I get sidetracked in everyone else’s needs. I am seriously thinking of making a schedule for my creative work just like I have one for my day job.
- Gathering ideas. You may think that working at the airport can’t possibly be creative but it is. Seeing and hearing different people every day it’s quite stimulating for me. Watching passengers embarking on their journey sends me in my own day-dreaming world of going places. Sometimes people share their stories with me. They tell me about their travels. This gives me ideas for places to visit and experience myself. Also people watching for me can be a lot of fun. I get to see happy, sad, exciting, frustrating, confusing moments in people’s life. I get to help them without being too involved in their world.
- Social outlet. Before I transferred to work at the airport I worked from home. I HATED IT. I felt that I was home all the time. I didn’t grow up in the United States and even though I have been here over 20 years, I always found it hard to have a steady social circle. Society here is very transient. People move all the time, or work schedules that don’t allow to get together with people. Although I have many friends, I don’t have a steady group that I meet with on regular basis. And I need that. So my day job provides that social outlet for me.