One thing I really pride myself in is possessing a level of self awareness, and the ability to pinpoint the source of my feelings.
For example, if I see something on Facebook or have an interaction with someone in real life and have a certain reaction, I almost always can identify, psychologically, the WHY behind that reaction. Sometimes it's as simple as, "I'm clearly hungry, this is making me crabby for dumb reasons." Sometimes it's deeper than that and it's, "this makes me jealous, they have all the means and access in the world and squander it." Am I mature enough to acknowledge outwardly when it is the jealousy? No, probably not. BUT at least I know, right?
Lately I've had this really unsettled, anxious, spazzy feeling deep in my gut and I'm having a hard time identifying why. What I do know is it usually surfaces when I'm thinking about one thing in particular. For a while now I've toyed with the idea of opening up some kind of a side gig. I know I feel my best mentally when I'm doing something creative that balances out the very UN creative (unless you count sassy motion writing...) aspects of my day-to-day career. I know what makes me happy, I know what I enjoy doing, but when I think of ways to actually turn it into a fluid business I get discouraged. One, because the idea of dumping money into something that may go nowhere gives me hives. I hate gambling because I like, no ..I need, to see a physical return on investment. I'd rather spend $20 on a t-shirt or happy hour than a slot machine.
The same can be said for putting any money at all, no matter how small the amount, into start-up costs for a venture. I enjoy working with wood (decor items- mason jars hanging on wood, signs), I enjoy watercolors, I absolutely love anything to do with weddings: I helped a friend with assembling flowers and reception decor at her wedding recently and had a blast. I'm a militant type-A who has contingencies for every possible flaw and can think on my feet unprecedentedly well. But then I start to think about the hassle of selling on etsy, especially for wood pieces- or getting an insanely high quality printer to duplicate watercolors, and taxes and whatnot and I get discouraged and stop.
I also think about redesigning my blog, and I mean REALLY redesigning professionally, and putting more time and energy into this as a source of income. But I really don't see the point of doing that without something to offer. There are enough bloggers who blog about blogging and get rich because of blogging about blogging to have turned me off to that entirely. I enjoy blogging for what it is: an outlet (for me at least).
Then I think about doing something more in the legal community to satisfy that itch. Volunteer more, especially in an area of law that's different than mine. I went to a seminar recently on updates to the areas of Domestic Violence as a part of a women's tea that my law school puts on. I was in a room with top thinkers in the field, who have traveled to other countries on fact finding missions, collecting research and advocating for change. It was one of those nights that energizes you and makes you want to do something. Again though I get so discouraged easily.. the time, the time my current job consumes, am I even being realistic?
This discouragement across the board leaves me feeling lazy and unmotivated. I don't feel like I'm that kind of person.. I mean, I survived 3 years of law school and studying 8 hours a day for a grueling 16 hour test- I have a drive in me.. but where did it go? Is it a fear of failure? I'll go ahead and acknowledge that plays a huge roll in it. And don't even get all cliche and tell me that all great things come when people get over that fear and leap- blah blah. I know that. It doesn't matter. I would rather launch a project on 100 strangers, let it get to a satisfactory level, before ever sharing it with family and friends. I'd feel okay if it were dubbed a proven success. I don't like doing something if I can't be proficient.* This could be why, to date, I've never shared my blog on my facebook page- or with any of my family. Initially it was because: blogs are weird, even weirder and sadder when you have like.. 3 followers. I don't mind mentioning it in casual conversation now, and have given it out to friends.. but only after feeling out that they don't think it's weird. Of course this makes things exponentially more difficult for me when typically, especially for creative endeavors, your family and friends are your best first source for feedback and, in the case of selling thing, sales. But would people just buy out of pity? Would they just pay me lip service and not mean it? Are there already too many personal endeavors on Facebook that one of my own would just add to the noise? It already feels like everybody wants everybody else to buy something from them. Is there a need for more?
Maybe the answer is, at least with the creative/crafting stuff, to acknowledge that it's not about the money- and even breaking even would be OK as long as it permitted me an outlet to release that creative energy. Iiiiiii just don't know. I know that writing makes me feel a little better if for no other reason than it's no longer knocking around in my head. There may be other things contributing to my angst as well, including the amount of debt I have, whether we're going to stay in our house or move.. among other things that aren't suitable for internet discussion.
So, take it for what it's worth.
*this is also probably why in 9th grade, after funneling into high school, when I realized I wasn't the smartest at math I sort of gave up prospects of trying to be. There are few things I hate more than trying and failing. I'd rather be openly mediocre and have a quality of life (i.e. social life and time) than be the best. I suppose this is also a reflection of my grades in law school. Could I have done way better? Maybe. But did I value having a life, family, and friends more? Absolutely. I also will probably acknowledge it was easier for me to blame my grades on this theory than acknowledge that it's a real possibility that even if I tried my damndest, I may not have done better. Feel free to psychoanalyze that to the bank.