Yesterday I scraped out the last of the monies from all my accounts. Left just enough so the accounts won’t be closed down — essentially I left the amount of the below-minimum monthly fee that the bank deducts.
I mentioned in a previous post that while I found the kind of dayjob and sideline that my spirit can endure and even find some level of enthusiasm for, the pay is not enough. Last week, one of the clients paid only a third of the expected paycheck because of budget constraints. So I had to re-do my own budget plans and hence the scraping out of bank accounts.
My dad’s regular medical check-ups and laboratories have to be postponed, along with vet treatments for the cats (these are not even expensive and they only happen every 3-4 months). The grocery list was trimmed to about 1/5 of the original. Paid the most essential bills: electricity, water, and my mobile phone plan that comes with the emergency/back-up internet service which is crucial for my work. When my artist pledges come in at the start of next month, I will take from it the payment for the house’s internet service which is what’s fuelling my and my sister’s work-from-home setup. The rest will be tightly budgeted to last until the next uncertain paycheck.
But as of this moment, I only have enough cash in my wallet for laundry services (cheapest in the neighborhood because no one in the house has either the time or energy to hand-wash and we don’t have a washing machine).
This has pushed me to seriously work on the studio and the art shop. Not that I did not want to. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do but even the sidelines eat up so much more than what they’re supposed to. That’s why two weeks ago I made an announcement to my current clients that I can only work three days a week. Since the quarantine, I’ve spent too much time and energy on dayjob tasks that ended up not compensating me properly. My art has saved me repeatedly, and now it’s time to replenish its depleted inventory and revive its much-neglected spaces.
I now have a full inventory lined up to be made. I just need to sit down and get on with it. Push past the beginning paralysis of inner panic building up inside me. Because I know the actual sales take a bit of time. And by this time, so many people are also experiencing charity and support fatigue. I need to reach more new people more than anything, instead of taxing my already over-taxed current circles. I also need for my art to be real gifts for the self or others, chosen for their positive effects on the spirit.
Many tell me I should sell at pandemic-friendly prices. Instead, I fixed my prices to be fair first to me because I’ve undersold myself for far too long. And then I fixed it a little bit more in consideration of the buyer without sacrificing my own worth and value. I took away the apology for the DHL shipping rates, and I took away the self-sabotage of my art not being good enough.
I wish it would happen soon. That my art would break through enough and enable me to earn a decent income to the extent that I no longer have to rely on the dayjobs and sidelines. That the dayjobs and sidelines will be optional and bonuses.
I wish, oh how I wish. I hope, oh how I hope.
I do what I can even if most of the time it doesn’t feel enough and I feel foolish for even beginning to think it will ever be enough.
And I refuse to give up on what my heart wants.