Arguably what every songwriter, poet and on-line dating applicant is motivated and inspired by, love and the pursuit of it can be no mean feat, yet it drives so many of us through life as we receive it, give it away and sometimes fend it off when we should embrace it. If loving yourself is the key to eternal happiness and the loving of another is best served when that love is reciprocated, then when do you find the time to love what you do? Isn't that also important and life fulfilling? 'You're a long time dead' they say but you're also a while living, so it's vital we all reap some pleasure from this journey called life that we are all on.
Earning the big bucks and owning everything your heart desires may sound nice but in the long slog to achieving success, if you dread, loathe and positively fear the pang of the impending Monday morning blues, are you really ‘making it’? Clock watching longing for home time, finding yourself mumbling obscenities and expletives at your co-workers, your boss and the printer may feel like part and parcel of the working world, but does it need to be that way? Could you be doing more of something you love? Could you even earn a living doing it?
My parents always encouraged me to pursue what I loved to do. I was given boundless opportunity to experience the things I enjoyed and ultimately htis led me down the path to where I am now. Teaching dance and choreographing for a living was never something I considered to be a career option for me and not that anyone had told me otherwise, I just didn't put the thought out into the ether to allow it to develop into some form of a reality. I promptly quashed the idea and opted for what I thought was my destiny-studying something sciency! I dabbled with the notion of doing prosthetics, optometry and psychology applying for a variety of courses. I was academic at high school and so was encouraged to aim for university which I happily did- got in, got the degree (of the English Studies variety (not science!) and then realised I still wanted to dance! So I did and several years down the line I'm doing what I love but NOT regretting that path I went down one bit.
Sounds simple but it hasn't all been a walk in the park. Working in the Arts can often bring uncertainty as postilions are often not permanent and as freelancer it's a constant search for the next job. 'Find something you love and you'll never work a day in your life' is a load of cack-a-lacka! Excuse me but just because it makes getting out of bed in the morning a little more bearable, does not mean that it cannot be called work! The hard work is real and the long (sometimes unsociable) hours a given. The lengthy commutes and the inability to switch off (EVER!!) will always be a factor but any negatives are outweighed immeasurably by the positives and that's what makes me go on. Love, since the beginning of time, has always presented the good with the bad; the highs and the lows and every contradiction in the book but the joys of love always prevail. I'm willing to go the extra mile for what I love to do.
All the cliches and mantras aside, finding love is for everyone-you just need to be open to it. A little bold and brave at times and ready for the prospect of rejection, you must not settle and you must never give up. The work-life balance can be a battle won, as both merge and each one compliments the other.
Approaching it like an on-line dating application (which I actually have no prior knowledge of. Just surmising!), you:
1. Have to be open to suggestion but always go with your gut instinct.
2. Be yourself and confident in what you have to offer.
3. Seek the help of others in your search. Those around you will know you well and want the best for you.
4. Don't panic when it seems to be going right!!!! It probably is all good and you should be happy with that!!!
Love takes guts and grit-it even hurts (according to Nazareth) but we're told with every love song that it's all we need. It's something you can't hurry, it's a battlefield and it's all around (Sorry, enough of the song lyrics!) but it's always worth aiming for. It may seem unrealistic to consider the notion of pursuing 'the dream' but a little of something you fancy can go along way, so why not start with doing more of what you love every day?! I'm not suggesting you quit the 9-5 tomorrow-my freelance dance tutor/choreographer's ass has got to pay the bills each month so I totally get it! You have commitments and obligations to uphold but ask yourself, "Could I do a bit more of what I love?". Dance around the house more, join an art group, start that blog....whatever it is, inject your life with that creative edge that's always been there but has been afraid to come out to play. If it never turns in to more than a hobby, is all lost? God no! Immersing yourself in creativity softens all of life's blows-that Monday morning alarm won't grate just as much if you know by 6pm you'll be shakin' your thang at dance class or losing yourself in writing a new song , guitar in hand!
I am fully aware that I may not always get to do what I love for a living-that's why I cherish it so dearly and never take anything for granted. I am extremely lucky to be doing what I love and building my career, but in the same breath, I've worked bloomin' hard and made many sacrifices to make it a reality. Low paid jobs, long commutes, redundancy due to lack of funding have all played a factor along the way but I guess that's what has made the journey more of an adventure. I'll always dance...that love affair will never fizzle out, even if it is no longer part of my work-life.
What has LOVE got to do with it?
Everything and I'm delighted with my love story thus far! Now, go start yours!
Peace out x