4. Aspirations and Actualities

So the free time I spoke of is evaporating, but nonetheless, here is my check-in.

 

WEALTH

My trip back East was relaxing and enlightening. It is always good to get away from the fray in order to see and think more clearly. John and I came home to face some serious financial discussions. Starting your own business freelancing is an endurance game: how long can you survive while you wait for your business income to grow. It’s been challenging—not to mention stressful—to have a mortgage and bills with no reliable income. We are currently discussing whether we can keep living month-to-month. We have reached a point where we need to start paying off the debt we incurred starting our businesses. We are discussing: both taking jobs; me taking a job and waitressing; taking on a roommate; or subletting our house and moving into an apartment. I am dead set against taking on a roommate, which is how me waitressing came into the equation as a compromise.

 

WORK: THE DREAM

I have realized that working for small businesses is not a viable path for me. I have had some great clients, but they are all equally distracted and unable to finish projects on any kind of reasonable schedule, which means I don’t get paid for months, and equally as important, I don’t have finished work to point to.

 

I am clear that writing identities is my passion. I originally thought that I wanted to write about furniture designers, then I opened up to small businesses, now I am opening up to any and all possibilities. What I care about are people’s stories; creating community; finding and promoting positive role models. My dream is to become a kind of Annie Liebovitz of written portraits. I’ve decided that one way to get there is by selling a theme based series to a dot com company that needs content. Portraits of women for Women.com; wine makers for WineShopper.com; teenagers for a site targeting teens; Oakland artists for Jerry Brown’s promote the arts initiative are all ideas I’ve considered. Since I am especially interested in promoting role models for teen girls, I think that the best opportunity exists in writing about women in technology. There is a lot of conversation circulating about women and technology, especially about getting girls interested so they don’t get left behind. A number of Silicon Valley women CEOs have funded nonprofits promoting technology to girls and I am exploring how to get involved with one of these organizations as a way to gain experience and make contacts. Creating an interactive site about women and technology would be my stepping stone to being recognized as an identity—artist? I could then go on and do other series online or off.

 

WORK: THE REALITY

That’s my revised longterm goal. In the meantime, I need income immediately. My first choice is to take a job that relates in some way to my goal, but if that doesn’t pan out, then I need to take the job that pays me the most money and consider it a one year interruption. As long as I work in the online space, I trust I will gain valuable experience and make connections that will serve my vision in the future.

 

As you all know, I have never had a “real” job, so job searching is particularly nerve wracking for me. Wednesday I am going to Alumnae Resources for help with my resume, interviewing and salary negotiations. Any job leads, suggestions or comments any of you have are appreciated.

 

There it is: my first, very personal, emotionally exhausting check-in.