Now that the technical stuff is out of the way … as a seasonal employee working in the outdoor recreation industry, work (i.e. income) is feast or famine. The same holds true for time. In fact, work and time are inverses of one another in this context. An increase in (job) work = decrease in (personal) time. A decrease in (job) work = increase in (personal) time. The same could be argued for a traditional 40-hour job. You work more and, therefore, have less time to play. However, I imagine the shift is more subtle and measured in hours per week of change whereas I experience an extra 4-8 weeks of unpaid vacation every few months.
Believe it or not, though, in my 25 years of adulthood I’ve only held a year-round, full-time job for about eight of those years (and four of those were while I was serving in the military!). I have a bachelor’s degree in communications and an associate’s degree in business (among other feathers in my cap). I could go out and get a dependable job with relative ease. So, how is this possible? Why am I not destitute or homeless or up to my eyes in debt? Why do I continue to embrace this financially risky lifestyle?
One answer to that question is easy. I’m just too stubborn and arrogant, and I generally don’t like taking orders from other people. Blame it on my military experience or, maybe, it’s a direct result of being raised an only child and learning to be fiercely independent. Another answer to that question is that I have a dream of becoming a financially successful artist and writer one day. But probably the most relevant reason (albeit a highly abstract one) I choose to live this “starving” artist’s lifestyle is that I simply want to defy the odds and forge my own path (and hopefully inspire others to do the same). Much like Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, minus the lobotomy, of course. “But at least I tried!” he says after attempting an impossible task (for him).
We are not bound to any one path. Life is choice. But we have to be willing to make sacrifices and be vigilant against those people and activities that threaten to derail us from our vision. Obviously none of this is easy to accomplish, and definitely won’t occur overnight. However, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Anyway, I made lots of progress on projects this past month since there hasn’t been enough snow to open up the cross-country ski center where I work (i.e. I had lots of personal time to get stuff done!). Keep scrolling to see my shameless plugs for all of the stuff I created.