Friday, May 4, 2012

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

I ran into a fabulous collection of blog posts yesterday, headed by Ez at Creature Comforts. There's been a lot of keepin' it real in blogland recently (my post here, Marilyn's from yesterday, Amy's request to just own it, etc.), but this latest string of writing has taken it to a new level.

It's easy to only see the positives when reading blogs. People show their best work, direct you to the prettiest pictures, find the most inspirational quotes--and it tends to make people forget that bloggers are real people with problems too. There's no need to wonder why your life isn't as perfect as what's on the screen, because the truth is, nobody has their shit together all the time.

Including me, so if you'll allow me to just rip off the band-aid...

source

1. I don't make a lot of money.  At all. One of the things that had to happen before I quit my day job in November was to make as much money selling jewelry as I did going to work. And sure enough, it happened consistently for several months in a row, so I pulled the plug on my cubicle prison. But here's the thing: despite the fact that I'm meeting or exceeding that requirement every month, I no longer have the "extra" day job money coming in. No matter how you slice it, I took a BIG pay cut when I decided to quit. And plus, some of the money I make has to go back into the business and not my pocket, so my take-home is actually even lower.

Granted I'm a lot happier now overall, so it was a good trade off, but sometimes I feel weird lame knowing I don't make anything close to what some of my peers do. Which leads me to...

2. I don't feel like a real adult. I suppose I should, because I went to college, I'm married, we own a condo, and I used to work a "real" office job, but I still feel like there's something separating me from other young professionals. Maybe it's because people don't always seem to understand what exactly I do, or maybe it's the money, or maybe it's because I have a lot of interests and don't necessarily want to choose one career for my entire life, I don't know. But I feel really awkward around other adults sometimes, and it's a bummer.

It actually feels good to get all of this out. Like a big virtual therapy session.


Let's keep it real from now on. I've really enjoyed all of the honesty making the rounds lately, it's been refreshing, and I want it to stick around. It's nice to be distracted by pretty things when we're having a bad day, but life isn't all sparkles and unicorns, and we shouldn't pretend it is.

Have you read any of the Things I'm Afraid To Tell You posts? (They're worth checking out.) How do you feel about the mini rebellion going on? Will you be writing one of these posts yourself?

36 comments:

  1. Every once in a while I share what goes on in my life, including my illness. I keep these posts to a minimum though, because somehow my German audience doesn't appreciate these posts?!
    My income now cannot compare at all to what I used to earn in the corporate world, but overall I am much happier and that is more valuable to me than money :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your honesty - to give you some encouragement - who wants to be "normal?" - not me. I think the unusual lives/jobs/ways of living are cool! - just glad that you are happier :-)
    Stopping by from blogging buddies
    Thanks
    Angie
    godsgrowinggarden.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this post! I currently feel inadequate against my peers. Everyone has their life together, married, kids, homes, etc. And I'm at home with my parents with no job. Even though I know my illness took away my "life "I still can't shake that failure feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  4. girl, you are preachin' to the choir. I've been out of my day job for almost 3 years now, and still struggle with both of these things. Plus, I do copywriting AND a little photography AND sell vintage, so sometimes I feel like I look like a kid full of inconsistency and confusion, even though I'm doing exactly what I want with myself, which is ultimately what everyone wants to do, right? Just do your thing and be happy. Even though I know how much it sucks to not have more money at times. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brilliant. I never feel like an adult either, and neither does hubs. Everyone seems older than us for some reason, even people who are younger. Why is that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I feel the same way...we also don't make as much money as most of our friends (or at least I don't think we do) and so that leaves me feeling younger and less prepared or successful. Its something I have to work on all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We're all afraid of something. I have no plans to make my business my full time job - just don't see it happening, but I love sewing and quilting. I also don't feel like I'm an adult....I had a great paying job, a house, lots of money coming in, but dreaded going to work. So I quit and now I'm working retail (which we all know isn't the best paying job), but I absolutely love it. Had to give up the house and the extra cash and no real idea of what I want to be when I grow up.....too bad I'm already grown up...lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. I absolutely love that last poster :) Who wants to be normal!

    The money is the hardest part of me considering to leave my job. My business made almost as much as my "real job" during the first quarter of 2012, but like you said...that money also has to go back into the business and not just pay bills.
    The hard part is knowing that I won't be making as much as my boyfriend. We have made the same amount of money for the last ten years, so taking a pay cut makes me feel inferior.

    As for comparing myself to my friends...I gave that up a long time ago :)
    Jesse and I have been together for 12.5 years with no plans to get married. We also don't plan on having children. We get told all the time that we are the strangest couple people have ever met because we are very independent. But we are happy and that is all that matters :) I like being different :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, inferior! That's the word I was trying to think of while writing this. My husband has always made more money than me, but that's because of the field he went into and I knew that would happen. It doesn't bother me too often because I sure as hell don't want to have his job.

      I like what you said about comparing yourself to others. It's not that I want to be like everybody else, I just don't want to be seen as inferior. Or not be taken seriously.

      The money balance will be hard. And I can only imagine how busy you are right now, so it's not like your business can realistically grow that much more before you *have* to quit, because there are only so many hours in a day. There's a lot to think about!

      Delete
    2. I really struggled when I quit my job because I was entering "housewife" territory and letting my husband support us. I was brought up with the idea of being a strong, independent woman and the idea of relying on a man for money was hard. But after lots of time and talking, I realized that we're a team and we're both better off if I'm not making money (for awhile) doing something I love than making money doing something I hate (which resulted in lots and lots of crying and anxiety).

      Delete
    3. Jenny, it's like we lived the same story! My husband has always made more money than me, but I still went through the same emotions when I quit and lost a significant amount of income. One day I was complaining to my husband that I felt super lame only paying a few of the bills, but he said, "Your happiness is more important than a paycheck." So it looks like we both found good guys!

      Delete
  9. I'm glad to know that sometimes other people don't feel like a grown-up, either! It's hard not to compare yourself to people near you in age. I remind myself a lot to just look at all thing things I've accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The money part is tough, to make peace with how does one really define success.

    I got bitten by the "things I'm afraid to tell you" post, too, wonderful refreshing idea.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been enjoying these "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" posts. Yours is very honest. Thanks for posting it.

    Etsy Blog Team

    ReplyDelete
  12. I loved those posts yesterday! I even shared them on my friday favorites today.
    And it's funny how your truths are mine as well. People think we are rich, or have rich parents, or that my husband is rich because we own a store. It took our savings and hard work to get a shop. And in reality, we're pretty broke, but would not have it any other way. We love our job.
    Also, I'm 28 and definitely don't feel 28. I feel like I'm 12, just kidding.
    But, yea, I feel ya on this! Let's keep it real! You know, I feel like we do anyways because we have personalish blogs.
    Let's keep it even more real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I get a lot of people assuming that my husband, who has a pretty good job, helps fund the business. Nope! They're separate, both for tax purposes, and just because I don't want a handout. I think if I knew I'd have extra money to fall back on, I wouldn't work as hard.

      We should start calling ourselves Team Real.

      Delete
  13. I've seen these all over the web this am and I'm loving the rawness of it all. I agree with you though- I too struggle to feel that my "job" as an artist & blogger is worthy of telling strangers about. It's very awkward when you're asked, what do you do, from someone who's just gone on about how they're a dr. or something and then you have to say, um, I blog...and I make art to sell. But why SHOULD it be lame? It's the most awesome thing ever because we're following our dreams. And maybe that Dr. always wanted to be something else anyway. You don't know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES. That's my new philosophy: we have the most awesome jobs ever.

      Delete
  14. Seems to be a trend that no one *really* feels like an adult. I'm so glad I'm not alone in that. I'm definitely going to check out the Creature Comfort blog and maybe I'll write my own "scary" post. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Christine
    via the EBT

    ReplyDelete
  15. So nice to read this, and know I am not alone! I've read a couple of these posts, but yours really hit home! Thanks for being brave and sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great job with this topic! I do feel like an adult, but I also took a big pay cut when I quit teaching and started working from home. I've spent a lot of time this past year explaining what I do. Most people in my family still don't really get it. That doesn't change the fact that I love what I do and that I'm confident that over time, I will build significant regular income, particularly from freelance writing. The truth is that takes time to build your own business and you most likely won't see much money in the beginning.

    You'll appreciate this article that one of my friends on HubPages published today.
    http://victorialynn.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-be-a-Success-Working-from-Home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great article! And you're right, I knew I was going to be making less, but eventually it will catch up to where I was before.

      Delete
  17. It was nice to read this Paige (and thanks for the shout out! =D). I think the definition of Adulthood has changed over the years. What you do is awesome and makes you super interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for all of the comments, you guys! You're definitely making my day. Hopefully all of you are feeling a little better now, too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really wish life was all sparkle and unicorns. I wish I was rich like Stela! LOL Things have been rough lately. Mostly it's family members being sick and all the drama and assistance they need. I'm trying to not let it infect my blog too much! Not that I want to look perfect, I just don't want to be too negative. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't make any money, either. I'm a broke grad student who is burnt out on class, and Mr. A has yet to find a full-time job. It's rough. :(

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post. I don't make any money either and often feel the same way. I quit a job I hated because my husband makes enough for us to live on. I love the fact that I am getting to work on something that I love, but I have yet to make a profit. I often feel embarrassed when I talk to other professionals (lawyers, doctors, etc) and have to be like, "well, I'm an artist." and in my head I'm like, "but I spend all day in pajamas and barely make enough money to keep the business going and sometimes spend all day reading craft blogs."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can relate! My husband definitely provides the financial stability in our house, and I wouldn't have been able to quit without him. Especially not living in such an expensive city.

      Delete
  22. I'm so glad that you did this too! :) Thank you for your awesome comment. Totally feeling the sisterhood thing too. And I'm older than you and still don't feel like a real adult at all. :)

    xo,
    melissa

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for this post! I've been getting overwhelmed with the whole cutesy, perfect, simple living blog world. Keeping it real is good for the soul.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for being brave and sharing this. It's a nice reminder that we are all humans behind our posts. I just made a confession on my blog that I'm a stress case right now :). Just admitting that tiny imperfection felt good.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ditto on both of these things, Paige. I think sometimes because we don't have kids and I have yet to settle down on one "proper" career, I don't really relate to a lot of people my age, or rather, I sort of feel like they're all just waiting for me to stop faffing about and "join the ranks" so to speak. But my boyfriend reassures me all the time that we are on our own path and doing our own thing, on our own schedule. But I totally get what you're feeling. xo, Mary

    ReplyDelete
  26. I wrote a post myself
    http://domrockstar.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. I appreciate your honesty. What is a real adult anyway? Just keep doing what you are doing and it will all fall into place.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information.
    This article has truly peaked my interest.

    I'm going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

    Here is my page :: minecraft download

    ReplyDelete
  29. These are genuinely enormous ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant things here. Any
    way keep up wrinting.

    Look into my webpage facebook password cracker

    ReplyDelete