A pre-dinner walk turned in to a hike to find the Lake Shore bike path, and before I knew it I was two miles away from the apartment and in need of some distraction from my achy sad feet. I called E and we gabbed about the usual: work, schemes to visit each other, and her brother's upcoming wedding. Houses, marriage, and kids seems weirdly close and yet so far...mostly far as I still work a daytime job that pays minimum wage. "I guess you have to decide what you want." she assessed. I have one job that doesn't feel like work I love it so much, but is it enough for me to put up with another job I hate and being broke all the time? I have other dreams that I want to accomplish.
When I decided to become a theatre major, there was the ultimate choice of "doing what I love every day for little money" or "giving up a career I love to have a comfortable life." It's easy to put off making that choice in college because, dammit, theatre is just the greatest! But once graduation came I was faced with the choice head on and still don't know that right answer for me.
I know a handful of people who graduated and knew instantly that they'd rather make money and live comfortably than make theatre their full time career. In the other camp are those who are perfectly content holding down a flexible yet financially unfulfilling daytime job just to get to do what they love in the evenings. It's not impossible to have a full time career in theatre, but for most of the people I work with a supplemental job is required to pay the rent. I realize that this is obvious to most, but when I moved to Chicago I didn't have a clue.
My hope is that I will work through things as they come and make the right choices for me while still keeping the future in mind. Recently I had to make a very tough decision regarding that future: I had to give up a theatre job. I was scheduled to work with the same fantastic company I'm currently with and I had to turn them down. Luckily they understood my predicament. 'It's a shame that money has to play so much in to this' they remarked.
The goal right this minute is to find a great-paying day job so I can continue to do and see theatre in the evening. I think it would be downright un-spirited to not give Chicago and my theatre career all the hard work and chances that it deserves, but I know I'll be running up against more walls like this in the future where I have to make a tough choice. If it all pans out, who knows? Maybe I can jump right back in to theatre after Christmas time, but for now my daytime job situation needs to be worked on.