I have arrived in Atlanta this week for a gig with Performance Artist, Brian Olsen. As we make our way to the car that awaits us, I reflect on a question that comes up often from my kids. “Daddy, what do you do for a living?”
Now, before I get into that, I need to acknowledge the title I chose this week. I realize after writing that title it sounds like I may start proselytizing. But, no, this story is far less transcendental. It involves a lifelong struggle. Torn between being in a box and the endless wanderings as a “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Ok, so back to what do I do for a living. The dilemma is I don’t know, exactly. This week, in Atlanta, I am a road manager. The week before I was a freelance writer and Project Manager writing a Disaster Recovery Plan for an IT Group. Before that, I was being paid to ride a motorcycle, take photos, and write stories. A month before I was building custom CRM applications for a start-up. Before that –
It goes on and on. So, I often say something like, “it depends on the day.” While truthful, it is not very helpful. It sounds like verbal click bait. I am not looking to extend the conversation; I want to be honest. There are things I do for money, and there are things I do because I love them.
Most people that ask, “what do you do for a living?” are actually asking “how do you make money?” I prefer to talk about how I live, rather than how I make a living and earn a dollar. Growing up I wanted was to be a professional musician. When I saw people taking on too many different things, internally, I judged them as unable to commit.
What was wrong with these people? I knew what I wanted. I wanted to Rock! Or, so I thought. As time went on, I realized what I wanted was to travel. Being a musician meant being on the road. When I found different ways to do that my love of music remained, but a life of touring was not what I desired.
When that dream changed, I found myself bouncing from interest to interest. Not entirely being lost but on an insatiable quest for new experiences. In a world with few pension plans and fewer gold watches, chasing dreams is less frowned upon than it was in the past.
You are no longer a deadbeat if you move from job to job. If you don’t believe me, check out this guy called Richard Branson. Correction. SIR Richard Branson, SRB for short. Chances are you’ve heard of him. This layabout, noncommittal, who has dyslexia was once told he would end up either in jail or a millionaire. Well, the jokes on them, by a few zeros! SRB’s net worth is around $6.5 Billion, Canadian.
It might have been clearer to say, $5 Billion, USD. But, in my opinion, Canadians, do not get enough credit. Sure, they gave us Justin Bieber. Shame on them for that. But, they also gave us Shania Twain, the Barenaked Ladies, Coffee Crisps, and RUSH! So, in their honor, I report Sir Richard Branson’s Net worth in Canadian Dollars!
SRB is the founder of the Virgin Group. Not to be confused with a group of High Schoolers that abuse flutes at band camp and apple pies in pursuit of “virgout.” No, the Virgin Group umbrellas about 400 different businesses around the world. Talk about commitment issues.
He pursued his interests, not sticking with something for the pure sake of longevity. He stayed fresh by letting his passions take him on new journeys; often resulting in huge profits. I often get down on myself for not finding my “one-purpose.” From the number of articles on the internet, I am not alone. But, then I think about SRB. His private island, rocket ships and short-lived career as a female flight attendant for AirAsia, and I think, “man that guy’s got balls!”
Giving up on single mastery was not a simple choice. Being a Jack of all Trades has been the hardest job I have ever had. But, it is also the most rewarding. I have unique experiences. I meet amazing people. Each day is an adventure. I get stressed, but, rarely bored.
For anyone, who has ever felt lost, I hope to be a model of hope. I am no SRB. It’s fine. Feel free to look to him instead. I won’t be offended. No, really. Look away. I am NOT crying. Seriously, if you are out there and still haven’t found what you are looking for, do not despair, this too shall pass. Yes, for those of you reading carefully, all music title references. I have not entirely shaken the musician from my soul.
Try new things. The only rut you cannot get out of is the one you choose to stay inside. It may sound cheesy but enjoy the journey. It is all we have. There is no such thing as endings. If there were, then how do you explain Aslan in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? Or that one time when big J, made that rock roll in the bible? Better yet, how Batman brought Superman back to life in Justice League? What?!?!?! Yeah, that’s some serious New Beginnings right there.
What do I do for a living? Hmm. Let me think about that. Oh, I’ve got it. I rise again, so can you. Mic Drop!
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