I was recently told that I needed a “real” job. This was after I told the family member I moved on from my most recent employment to pursue entrepreneurship full time. This is faith. BIG faith and a complete submission to God to take the reigns.
I have worked my whole, independent life. Since I was of legal age, I was eager to get out and empower myself financially. Why? My parents worked so hard to keep us in a neighborhood/environment opposite of what they endured, but one they were grateful to come/grow from. We couldn’t always afford certain “necessities” like cheer-leading uniforms, or money for youth business camps, or prom tickets. As a teen these ideas were a right of passage, just like getting “freedom” with your first job. Naturally, once I saw my first check, I never desired to depend on anyone else for my financial security. What I hadn’t understood, was that I’d gained a new dependency.
Fashion designs came as naturally to me as the zig-zag coils growing from my scalp. I imagined my friends, adorned by me in bright colored silks, finally shining in the light I saw them in for all to see. I purposed a brand to meet the needs of those whose shine was consistently dimmed, due to them being against the grain in any way. So it was also natural to decide I’d pursue fashion as a career. I was combining advocacy with aesthetic and identity empowerment already.
College was expensive, and the only way I’d observed to feel validated in that choice, was to secure that “creative career”. My peers dreamed it would occur upon graduation. I dreamed it would be me to secure it for myself, so when graduation came and I had no corporate fashion position, I wasn’t stifled, I was overwhelmed. It was immediately important, that I not be an absolute “failure” to myself, by continuing to work jobs that could keep me sufficient enough maintain my “independence”. Those jobs taught me irreplaceable skills but I became more and more dependent on them for my inner security as time went on. I began to separate from my purpose and to drive harder for money and ego security.
Jobs became an underrated idol. In my idle time from working I squeezed in my creativity, but with very little room, projects were rushed and not fully realized. Older adults/ elders kept pushing for me to attain some title, some big money achievement. With the pressure to make them proud, even though I couldn’t hope to receive those things from my jobs, I’d give those jobs more and more of my time, my life. I kept going further and further until the paradox I’d given into effected me mentally, which in turn, caused stress which started affecting me physically. It was time.
Leaving my last job was so difficult. It was the closest thing I had to what I do in my business that I was paid for, but I needed to recognize the importance I put on the security of it, over the foundational building of security in my own business. Since my departure, my husband raves about my energy being lighter. I’ve noticed a change in myself too. A change back into myself with added confidence in my ability. Its not all cotton candy and funnel cakes, I have to remind myself everyday to keep the faith, focus, and fearlessness. But, I’ve learned to never compromise my purpose for a job again.
Giving up is Easier Never felt like this before. Always had a J.O.B. It was easier to deal with ‘no sales’ Always had a J.O.B. An excuse, that work was taking too much of my time to focus wholeheartedly on the DREAM Always had a J.O.B. That way no one could say “You’re not doing enough” After all Always had a J.O.B. Not a corporate one, never fit into that mold. Why I couldn’t “Just play by the rules” The rules are square, I’m round and always fall right out “just not the right fit” So I kept a simple J.O.B. But now I’m lost tryna sell you my DREAM A world where a J.O.B. Isn’t the END.
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Truly inspiring! I thought your perspective—that as we grow older and continue to do work that lacks long term purpose it quickly moves from being a source of independence to a source of dependency.—was insightful and so true especially for creatives. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for reading! These post are always more vulnerable than I expect them to be; as I usually just write from the core. It means so much to me when this writing can connect to someone. Thank you for reading!