I am blessed to have a really awesome extended family. They are supportive, loving, kind, and funny (sometimes hilarious). Despite all the “weird” things about me – vegetarianism, unschooling, polyamory, and other unconventional choices – they not only accept me but seem to genuinely enjoy spending time with me.
This morning my Mom spontaneously invited me for a short road trip – or as she put it, “want to go to lunch today with a bunch of old people?” – and I jumped on board. Most of the time I set my own schedule, and weighing the things I’d planned to do today, I pushed them back a couple of hours and away we went. It was fun. I even get along with my Dad now, which wasn’t always the case in my younger years, when his teasing didn’t exactly line up with my sensitive nature.
When we left the restaurant, which had delicious food in large portions, we noticed a help-wanted sign and were joking about who in the group should apply. I said that the 12-year-old grandson who had tagged along could do it. Dad’s reply was, “well, you’re the one who needs a job.” Since we’d traveled a fair distance to get there, I replied that the gas money would eat up the wages, and that was that.
It was all in good fun. Still, that little comment got under my skin a bit, and took up residence in my mind. I’ve written about triggers before, and this obviously was one of mine.
“Sure, Dad, right, I need a job,” my most sarcastic internal voices belatedly (and silently) replied. “I have part-time work at the radio station, two unschooling teens, a business I’m building up gradually, and a writing career. That’s just what I need. That would be so helpful.”
I recalled how the day before, when going through a bunch of papers and de-cluttering, I came upon some words and images I’d cut out of magazines years ago, when I still worked full-time for someone else and the kids were rather young. I’d been making a vision board, and the things I was trying to encourage were ones I seemed to have no time for: writing, creativity, inspiration, being my own unique self. I had enough money to pay the bills, but not much room in my life for creative expression.
Then I looked at where I am now, and how my creativity is flourishing. I’ve fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a published author (twice!) and I’ve fallen in love with the writing life. I really just want to write and publish more books, and sell enough of them to make a good living.
Knowing that triggers are really mirrors that reflect back our own worries, I looked deeper. What part of me thinks I need (another) job? Umm, maybe the part that’s worrying because it’s nearing the end of the month and once again I’m not sure how we’ll pay all the bills that are due. Yeah, that. Dad sees that we struggle financially, and is responding in the way that he knows.
I take a deep breath. I realize we’ve always found a way before, and remember how my business is growing steadily. I receive royalty checks for my books – no, not big ones, yet, but they are increasing. I’ve recently integrated some paid work as a copy-editor into my repertoire, and that feeds my creative soul and my bank account. I’m on an upward spiral.
Reminding myself to breathe, I trust, I relax, and I focus on how I’m making steady progress. I am integrating the two paths of “making a living” and expressing my creativity. I’ve proven to myself that I can do each of these things, and now I’m learning to weave them together in my own way. I learn more about it every single day.
I know I can do it, whether anyone else does, or not. And that includes the doubting parts of myself.