Often people say — you must love what you do. O.K. But, I also know that I have to earn a living doing what I love. What I get frustrated about these days is two fold: 1. you need to know how to write, how to program, how to be a graphic designer, 2. you need to have a huge skill set that in fact has nothing to do with writing AND you have to be willing to do all of this for next to nothing. It reminds me of when I was acting. So much money for the production and perhaps 5% for the artists themselves. Oh Please! So, once again, I got myself into a situation where I agreed to write a series of articles for a very low fee. I figured, O.K. its about extra money. But, after I worked on the first week’s quota, I realized that I was working for less than minimum wage per hour. I have a Ph.D. and I am researching and writing for less than minimum wage. What is wrong with this picture? I resigned my position. I will find another way to earn extra money without totally selling myself and being frustrated in the process.
There are recurring themes in my life that at times get bothersome. Those themes generally revolve around my children’s well being, being in a long term marriage, being a woman and earning money. Beyond that, there are those other themes that are broader, a bit less personal, but real for me: hunger, poverty, war, government, freedom and the like. These themes are powerful motivators in anyone’s life. However, when I get stuck in the personal stuff, I find that the more attentive I am to my life the more complicated I make it or rather, the more complicated my responses become. When I get mixed up with my emotional responses and forget to frame any issue in some context, I am doomed. The over-arching feeling can best be described by recalling the TV commercial by Federal Express where the workers, expecting delivery of their mail to be late, over dramatically state “we are DOOMED, DOOMED, DOOMED!”By nature, I tend toward the feeling of being “DOOMED.” Luckily for me and I guess for those close to me, I can catch myself and work to be NOT so doomed. Still, these feelings, spurred on by the negative connotations I can read into the recurring themes in my life, are powerful. Over the years, I have learned to lessen the impact of these negative feelings. I have learned to stop and reconsider my perspective. Sometimes, I am more successful at this than at other times. What can I say, there appears to be a part of me that likes to be “DOOMED” I am addicted to pain and drama.I grow weary on such days, especially when such a day becomes a series of days. Today, I began “DOOMED.” But, as the day has progressed, I have determined that I will not end the day “DOOMED.” That there is nothing soooo terribly wrong in my life. Things in some context could be better, but in general, everything is alright. I just need to gain control of my very dramatic self and say, “Oh, Please! Get over yourself!”
I want to write. I struggle at times to write. But then, I struggle at times period. What stops me from doing that which I need to do? Only the gods know. I marvel at my ability to deny that which feeds my soul. I yearn for more in my life, but then, allow life to stop me. Strange business this living.I interviewed a woman today for a column I write in a women’s magazine. She was a bright, articulate, driven woman. Her life was different from mine. She overcame adversity more than once and each time rose to the occasion. I have actually never met a woman who did not rise to the occasion– whether that was coping with illness or surviving a vicious divorce.Women survive. That is the truth of the matter. Actually, they do more than survive. I think there is something about womanhood that may or may not be essential to the female nature, but that provides us with the potential to thrive–to do more than just cope.In the end, I sometimes feel disheartened by it all. I have many things to be thankful for and yet I succumb to the negatives. That is my fatal weakness, or character flaw. So, when I meet a woman who has the ability to inspire action, I try to pay attention–I try to remember that I too can be inspiring. I refocus my attention to reality: the universe is filled with abundance and that I can be inspired and inspiring it is my choice. I am here for a purpose, my voice is needed. I must take responsibility to fulfill that purpose.