Lately, every time someone asks me how I am, I always respond with an exasperated sigh and say, “I’m so busy!” And then, I realise how ungrateful I sound and quickly backtrack by adding, “I’m not complaining. It’s just that I haven’t been this busy in a long time so I’m not used to the pace all of a sudden.” And then I talk about how challenging last year was for me — I hardly did anything, it was a very lean year — and how much I’ve spent and dipped into my savings and I’m now practically penniless.
So the truth of the matter is, I’m happy to be busy again. I’m happy to be working on multiple projects and just earning so that I can pay off all my debts (Portugal was expensive, after all, and so was the Christmas season).
Part of the exasperation and the frustration is that I am back to working on corporate events and corporate accounts. It’s great money and I’m thankful for it, but it’s not exactly the kind of creative work I want to do. I’m back to what I was doing nine years ago and I thought I had walked away from it for good.
But it’s what going to get me stable again and I’m just happy to be working again. I tried the creative/artistic life and I didn’t quite make it. I am not giving up on it. I’m still going to try it. But I need to pay my bills and pay back my debts and I hope that this is a temporary thing.
The point, I guess, is to find the in-between. To accept enough corporate work to pay the bills and find the free time to engage in my more personal and creative pursuits. The problem is I’m not good at that sort of compartmentalising of my time. I’m in what I’m into a hundred percent. It’s always one or the other for me. That’s where I have to learn to be more fluid. Not just in social situations, of which I think I’m an expert at, but in my professional choices as well.
The word I’m thinking of is “bend.” To be able to bend and find the way that rolls with the current and not against it. In my professional choices, anyway. I’ve sort of found that quality in my social choices and dealings.
But I went up to my Dad and told him about it and how I should, when asked how I am, to answer cheerfully and happily that “I’m busy! I’m working and I’m swamped but I’m glad for it.” Say it with a smile on my face and with the positive energy of one who is grateful to be of some use to the world again.
And I did it last night when a friend asked me and I was able to answer cheerfully about how busy I am right now.
It’s just a change of attitude, a shift in the perspective.
It is not, and should never be, a complaint. I am so happy to be working again. I am so happy to be earning again. Sure, my personal writing projects and creative work (like films) have been pushed to the back of the line — but I have debts and bills to pay. I cannot live in some romanticised version of what I want and not face reality.
I can, in the future, once I make better choices for myself. But until that happens, I need both feet on the ground and my eyes wide open. I’m grateful that I’m working and my need to write some thing of significance has been replaced by a greater need to be financially stable again.
But that’s temporary. Once I start getting paid for all this corporate work, I’ll be able to set proper goals and create a new strategy with which to proceed.
I’m busy now. That’s not a complaint. Soldiering on.