My boyfriend Steve and I are condo hunting, that’s pretty exciting. He’s buying it, not me, so its not as scary nor as grown-up as if I had the money for such a venture, but its damn exciting, and I’m touched and honored he’s including me. We’re moving in together after 2.5 years of dating while living in different cities (close cities, Seattle and Kirkland, but still!) In my usual all-or-nothing over-the-moon-with-joy or wallow-in-misery style, it was all feeling very unreal until this past weekend when we looked at a place that felt like home, only a big ol level up, a dream home, if you will. Suddenly it turned from dread of my worst fears (making life changes is pretty much ASKING my worst fears to happen, in my lizard brain), to straight up excitement and FUN FUN ohboy! I can’t wait.
Commissions are coming in! I have two jobs, my 40-hour-a-week temp office job and all the art I get paid to do in the evenings. It doesn’t seem like much money in the face of life, but the important thing is I’m doing art AND paying my bills, and I’m doing art for people who want it enough to pay for it, as opposed to my decades of free-art-for-ingrates. Also when I choose to do something for free, as a special gift for a friend, it really is special and I’m not resenting it. Actually my art may have gotten more focused since returning to the office dayjob, it comes out sharp and fierce, like how I’m feeling these days. But unfortunately, my previous upward climb due to my focus on my artistic career is at a standstill, and as I juggle obligations I drop the ball on client follow-up and marketing, which sucks. But I am producing and producing well, so. That’s certainly a good thing overall.
Speaking of dropping the ball, I’ve been such a bad friend since returning to work. I not only don’t have time for my friends, but I find myself randomly resenting people dear in my heart. Because I don’t like where my choices have led me, career wise, and I’m jealous of pretty much everyone else. Some times no matter what someone has, I want to trade, and I’m angry that I wound up with cookies while you got cupcakes. Isn’t that odd, I mean, what kind of friend is that? Why would I feel that way about people I should have nothing but love and respect for. Why do I try to spread my unhappiness around like peanut butter.
Still on step six in AA, after this I need to write final list of what I’m willing to let go of, and what I’m not willing to let go of that is actually hurting people (myself and/or others). So I’ve got my random jealousy and resentment, not only of people I feel I SHOULD resent like pushy rude strangers, but people who are being pushy because they want more of my time because they miss me, who I shouldn’t resent, but there, resentment persists in rearing its ugly head. Not to mention my black-and-white views and stack-ranking judgements of everyone in the world. I know it comforts me in the short term to feel like it’s a contest and I’m in fifteenth place or whatever, but its just not true. It’s a waste of my precious time.
I’ve been working hard at my new job to have boundaries, to demand a modicum of respect, to do my job very well and spend down time doing research, not spacing out/slacking off/checking facebook for hours a day. That’s all been going well but I feel this trade off. I feel myself becoming hard, angry, spiteful, mean, at work every day. In attempting to create moats and drawbridges, I also create weapons and armies and battle plans. I don’t want to be that person. It feels bad, I’m giving precious resources and energy to people who piss me off instead of the people I love. I want to keep that energy for the things that inspire me, not for the things that grind me down. My sponsor and I had very good talks tonight about ways I can stand up for myself, words I can say that defuse and expose the truth of the situation. Also I am actually job hunting, usually something I give more lip service to than actual effort. After my year of experience in how NOT to ever get replies to my applications, my getting-interviews rate is getting better and better, so that’s a small comfort.
I want to make and have some money, without being soul-tired and spiteful. Hopefully things will get easier, or at least I’ll find more rewards for my effort beyond being in slightly less debt than before.