Summer break has started for the kids. Major convention season is over. 30 hours a week are back in my hands, and I feel like there’s an unlimited amount of work that I can get done. I wish I could do this all the time. There’s so much to get done, and my days are full from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, but it’s work that I love doing. I’ve been doing character designs for Cory & my next project, rebuilding LeyLines buffer, and putting things together for the Kickstarter. Oh, and swearing at state tax websites. Because there has to be a fly in the ointment somewhere, right?
There’s a weird hopefulness and hopelessness in the work. Hopeful, because I can look back at the work I’ve done and see progress. I can look forward at the work I plan to do, and imagine that it could be successful. Yet it’s also a hopeless feeling, because in that optimism lies a fear that it will all be work for nothing. That at some point, I’ll have to wake up and realize that I don’t have what it takes to make things work. Whether that’s talent, or personality, or just dumb luck. They are at war, these two beliefs.
The fear is a sunk cost fiction, in the end. The expectation for a specific result, or the imagining of success in only one form, which is in all likelihood nothing like what actual success would look like. That, if all this work and time and effort and hardship and struggle does not yield that single outcome, then all of it was a waste. That I will reach my later years and look back and say “I used up all the time I had on a dream I couldn’t reach, and now have nothing to show for it.”
As if these sunken years have no value in the digging. The skills developing could not be re-purposed. The creations wrought no delight or worth in themselves, when the very act of writing and creating has so much meaning for me.
I’m so concerned about survival. I worry about it constantly. I have bouts of terror, that I have doomed Cory and I to some nebulous disaster. Yet I look back and realize that we are coming up on a year out of the old job, the old career, the old path, and we’re still standing. Yes, budgets are tight. And sometimes the feeling of “being poor” is oppressive. But the lights are still on, the roof is over our heads, and there are meals on the table. That’s more than many can say. Let alone what many worry about, when they think about survival.
I wonder how many years I will have to go through, before I accept that when I took that leap of faith, I landed on solid ground. Or, at the very least, that I created some ground on which I could stand.
Maybe survival isn’t as impossible as I worry it is. And ultimately, shouldn’t we all aim for something more than just surviving, if we are in the situation to do so?
What are you doing to not only survive, but thrive?