Friday, April 5, 2013

By the hour

"Too high of expectations for happiness? I want to not have to live pay check to pay check. I don't want to have to know that if I lose my hourly job, I can't pay rent and I can't make a loan payments. That doesn't seem like too much to ask."

I had a fun night out with some old work friends, friends I've bonded with over the years as we worked side-by-side at hourly paid jobs. They are smart, funny, beautiful, and have outstanding work ethic. I like and respect them a lot. Our lives have panned out in similar fashions as we all want more than money of our jobs and are working full-time by the hour to pursue that.

I guess working at an hourly wage in college was less worrisome because I, in a sense, had the world in my hands. The possibilities and promise were endless. I was a student. That was my title and my job. Now that I'm graduated and am not where I want to be, hourly work is welcome but budgeted to the penny. I now not only worry about rent and groceries but also loan payments and my future.

Last night was the first night I saw my situation as a precarious one. It's true. I don't have a contract and I could potentially lose most of my hours once summer hits. I always deal with and accept it but should I really have to? It's a tough situation for me to even have thoughts about because firstly, I really like my teaching job. Secondly, I'm not living my dream from college in part to a decision that the timing wasn't right.

My small taste of the production life, working on a reality TV show, was life-changing. The people alone were amazing, incredibly talented, and passionate about film and life. In working, I was sincerely happy and had never been more myself -- in my element. But I also realized what it took for all my newfound friends and heroes to get where they were, and I wasn't sure I wanted that quite yet. The hard work and dedication aren't what scared me; it was thinking I would be running and running to get onto this moving train that was going someplace I didn't want to go. Perhaps I wouldn't mind that destination in the end, but there's beauty in the choice.

That was tough for me. I still want to work in film but I feel I need to get a better grip on my life and who I am before I devote the time and make those sacrifices. I don't want to go along for the ride. So, I decided to trust my gut. I know when the time comes, I'll just do it. I'll move to California and sleep on couches or floors if I have to. But I'm not going to do that until I feel it's right.

It's my career path and I firmly believe all will work out, especially if I trust my instincts. So I suppose choosing this life that I have right now - with a little bit of luck - has kept me from feeling too cheated. I know I'm not always going to be satisfied with where I am and that I need to be careful about getting comfortable (because I still have big plans). And that's not even the point I'm trying to spit out -- it was just nice to be understood. Not having that financial security blows and it is unstable because it is what it is. I get it. My friends get it. We ate some $2 tacos and 99 cent margaritas. Facts and numbers, by the hour.

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