I'm a freelancer. Which simply translates to the beautiful fact that I do not subscribe to 9-5 job. I'm free to be an artist, a mentor, a writer, a director, a dancer, etc. Doesn't it all sound romantic. Indeed it is.
But let me also paint another side to this portrait. I'm a hustler.
If anyone tells you that being a freelancer is easy, they are on some serious 1985 cocaine.
Being a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. It takes a person of ridiculous, crazy, and often stupid-looking faith to walk out this career path successfully.
It takes discipline and moxie. And it takes vision and drive. And it always, and I mean always entails the virtue of humility.
As one decides to pursue one's dream whole-heartedly, there will be great sacrifice. For me, it came in the form of my residence.
In order for me to successfully pay off student loans from film school (Think "Mortgage Payment" and then double that), to not have a typical work schedule, and to follow the dreams God placed in my heart, I made my permanent residence back at my parent's home a few years back. What? Yes, after living on my own for 10 years in the Los Angeles area, I trekked it back home (Which is still fairly close for work and such). At first I was so ashamed. But now, I'm incredibly grateful.
But let me tell you. As a freelancer, there are those seasons where you feel like completely throwing in the towel. Often times it's "Feast or Famine", which can swing you in all kinds of directions emotionally. I recently had one of my "Famine" seasons. There just wasn't enough money to go around. And I had run out of my hustler strategies. I cried. And cried some more. And then I went to the library.
I needed a new strategy.
Apparently I wasn't the only one. Go visit your local library, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about after being there for 10 minutes.
So I go to the library, completely broke, but I find some great books on financial budgeting, etc. So I go to check out my books, and I discover that I had been framed. A book I had returned months prior in the outside "Return Bin", had been mysteriously misplaced (AKA "Missing") and my library card was temporarily suspended and now I had a nice charge for a book I didn't even get to own. I couldn't even get a free book from the library.
Yes. I cried some more. In the library. Next to the homeless man talking to himself.
But the librarian had mercy on me and allowed me to check out my books.
And today, I just booked a gig for the month of December through January. Praise!
And I'm still steady working in October and November. Not fully enough to cover all my bills, but definitely enough to get things crackin'.
With that said, I'll continue to be diligent with my financial budgeting and persistently believe that the best is yet to come. I'll continue pursuing my writing, my T.V. production freelancing, my mentoring of teenagers, and naps in the middle of the day.
And to you my fellow dreamer: I know I have painted a bit of a scary picture. But I want you to know that I am more fulfilled than I have ever been in my life. And I didn't have to do this all alone. And neither will you.
I have been surrounded by a beautiful community of artists that are walking out a similar journey to my own in their respective fields of music, photography, dance, fashion, business, life coaching, filmmaking, etc. And we continue to encourage one another when the pendulum swings in a direction we weren't necessarily prepared for.
So, don't get discouraged if your artist's journey is looking more like a Broke Down Palace situation. I have full confidence that God will bring you through. And surprise and delight you along the way.
But what we lack is far less meaningful than what we've already gained.