THE ANONYMOUS HUSTLE: Chapter 8 - The Day Job


I'm freakishly superstitious when it comes to numbers. In Chinese culture, the number 4 means death and the number 8 means wealth. So before I try to rid myself of this nonsensical habit of reading into every number that pops up in my life, let's talk about my day job! Chapter 8...8 means wealth...money...day job makes me the mula...you get it (I hope).

So, I was at the optometrist yesterday and on a form, they asked me to fill out all these routine questions but then...they asked for my occupation. Insert microscopic life crisis here. Let's face it. I want to be a creative entrepreneur and I'm slowly getting there but I'm a piano teacher at the end of the day. That's what pays my bills and affords me the luxury of time to pursue my creative endeavours. Until SNOWZEI. the brand provides a majority of my income, who am I kidding? I'm still a piano teacher. Don't get me wrong though, I don't hate my day job. I feel like the term "day job" is always accompanied by negativity. As much as there are days where I want to ram my head into a wall, I mostly love my job. So why do I have a life crisis every time I write down piano teacher as my occupation?

Recently, the strange man that I live with (the boyfriend) informs me, "You don't like teaching music, you like shaping young minds." I was floored. First of all, how does this man know me so well?! Second, GET OUT OF MY HEAD. But he's right. That's how I've been able to avoid pursuing "my dreams". Successfully too, mind you, because I'll tell you right now that if I really hated it, I would've dropped it faster than a raisin cookie. If I wasn't interested in something, I sure as hell wasn't interested. There was no convincing me. Yet here I am, more than a decade later, still in a job that just happened to fall in my lap. No. Sorry. That was forcibly nudged onto my lap by my mother.

Until yesterday, I thought I was still teaching because I was a wuss and couldn't find the courage to put my creative work out there. Well...technically that's still a part of the reason but shush. We're ignoring that for now. In reality, I'm still teaching because deep down, it's hard for me to part with it. I love connecting with people and, like the boyfriend man says, "shaping young minds." I love being a positive influence on my students and seeing them accomplish things they never thought was possible. I'm very grateful that my mom was as adamant as she was when my neighbour's kids wanted piano lessons. She didn't think, "My daughter isn't qualified for this job." She was probably thinking, "Someone needs lessons, she's been playing for thirteen years, why not." My mom subconsciously taught me a very important lesson in that moment but we'll save that for the next chapter. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, for the longest time, I was ashamed that I was still filling in "piano teacher" as my occupation. I had no clue why until now. I'm not ashamed of my job. I'm immensely proud to say that I've been teaching for eleven years. In truth, I'm ashamed that I'm not living a life that I ultimately want. All the students that I've met mean the world to me but...I'm losing my mind a little bit. I'm not quitting my day job any time soon. Who knows, maybe I'll always be teaching on the side but I'm tired of hiding behind it. It's been a safety net for so long, and probably will be for another couple years, but I didn't realize I was just surviving. I was so caught up in fear and first-world survival - paying the bills, food, going out, travelling, and of course, avoiding the vulnerability of putting my work out there to prevent myself from any disappointment and hurt. All that survival stuff, that isn't going away and rightfully so. My fear of putting out creative work on the other hand, that isn't getting me any closer to filling in "creative entrepreneur" as my occupation in the next routine paperwork I encounter.

We're lucky enough to be in a place where survival doesn't have to be the only priority. I've spent eleven years trying to teach my students that anyone can achieve whatever their heart desires. I think it's time to show them that we can survive and live at the same time. And on that cheesy note...

Until next time,
Stay bold and beautifully weird.




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