Time



Beware - Rant Ahead:

Why does my self confidence  depend on what I do for a living. I am constantly frustrated by the lack of arts work in my area. I am totally over qualified for all the volunteer work I do but I have no choice if that's the field I want to work in. Recently I did not get an arts job that I am qualified for and feel that I had "done my time" in community arts work to prove my commitment to the arts. If all that I have done didn't get the me the only arts job in my area then what is the point in continuing? I cannot better myself anymore than I have already done.

I feel the time has come to be paid my worth - paid for all the study I have completed - all the hours I have spent slaving away around my regular jobs. I have worked hard for my qualifications - I have given up precious moments of rest and social occasions to get in the position I have.
But what the hell for? Not once have I ever worked in paid employment in my specialised field. Normal people with a degree at my level would be well into their upper limits of salary by now but yet the feeling that the arts are "just not that important" still prevail. I can show you multiple reasons why arts are important to a community - important to individuals and most especially important to the survival and growth of small towns. The proof is there yet year after year funding is cut to the arts - arts jobs are just not being created and we are all expected to work in a volunteer capacity and beg for funding though grants. A stable life this does not make. I have worked hard in study to turn a "hobby" into something serious yet still there is nothing in my area in which I can turn my hand to. In fact the closest thing that I have had to paid arts work is through my graphic work - qualifications completed through Tafe. I am grateful for those that have given me their design work/desktop publishing recently. It has made for good pocket money. I now feel that I must venture into this field to support my unemployment.

Regardless - why is that I feel I must work? To be active in employment give me more motivation and self worth - the guilt of not contributing to society and my home are hard to take. My confidence suffers without it. Yet in my own head I never judge those that don't work - it doesn't even  cross my mind. People say they have children and are stay at home Mums, and that's the end of that - no judging here. I do however judge those that have never worked or sought out education. Uni is next to free - Tafe is cheap - there is no excuse for not bettering yourself. I also retain the right to whinge about the bludges because I have worked since I was sixteen - I have payed my taxes to support the roads - the pensions - the hospitals - the police/nurses/teachers...obviously all the components in which most on a permanent "dole" feel they have the right to whinge about. We are so lucky to live in a day and age in which women nearly have all the rights of a man - medical help is beyond advanced and we are not being killed by mindless crusaders or dictators. We are lucky - I am lucky, even without a job I have plenty to fill my time, the freedom go about my business - the freedom to create, it is time for me to stop feeling guilty and enjoy my time at home.

I have decided on a personal level to give up all outgoing community commitments and return to a "Normal Life". One that I have not experienced in 9 years of community work. I will be dropping my management role at the Made With Love Market and become a stall holder only, I will be dropping my committee commitments for the art centre but remain on as Garnier ambassador.

Time will be mine - to choose what I do - when I do it - if I want to spend time on freelance work I can. I have so many personal projects I want to get my teeth stuck into, Why would I be spending that time on projects for other people - for free. Time to get selfish - time to live a normal life. I will spend this last year home with my daughter before she goes to school - I will choose to be paid for my design work through freelancing - I will spend time studying my teaching degree and I will spend time creating in my new "Woman Cave" (post coming soon!).

Time for ME! After all time is something you can never get back - why not enjoy it. I found this article through another blog recently - it outlines the top 5 regrets of the dying. One of the main regrets when dying is working too hard - it sure does give you something to think about.
Mxo

End Rant - thanks for listening

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Michelle Walker is a Tasmanian born creative. An Artist for life, Visual Arts Teacher, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Hairdresser by trade and mother to two beautiful children.

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