I think I’ve recently been experiencing another bout of quarter-life crisis lately.
Part of it has had to do with my own internal conflict of not feeling fulfilled with working 3 part times jobs. The cover band’s weekly late night travel to other cities and back in a 24 hour period to perform for drunk people in rich and also not-so-rich venues used to be exciting. But I’ve been doing it for two years now, and I’m finding it so tiring and exhausting and all the other words that are synonymous with draining. The usual three hours on stage are amazing, but the 3 hour drive each way, and the killing time after we set up.. feels so stagnant now. There are only so many times one should have to perform “Don’t You Want Me” in their lives.
The restaurant has been nice because my schedule is as flexible as I need to be in order to perform and teach music. But I’ve been waiting tables pretty much since I got to Austin. And I bartended for two years before that. Drainage times two.
The last job is as a private music teacher, which honestly terrified me when I first started, even though becoming one is exactly the reason I moved to Austin. But I now have five young little students who take voice and piano lessons from me, all because I had a friend who taught at this awesome school who knew they were looking for a female teacher for their Little Mozart’s class. He’s my boyfriend now. Which is besides the point, but also goes to show that everything lines up when it’s supposed to.
Anyways, I wanted to write about how incredibly frustrating it is to love doing things that don’t pay well. I love teaching music, and hourly, yes, it pays well. With five current students, I have 3.5 hours of teaching time per week. Which will just not pay the bills.
I’ve been feeling stuck with my three jobs lately, knowing that I need to replace one or maybe even two with something more fulfilling, or at least something more stable until I can pay for the training to do what I currently am drawn to and think will be fulfilling. I have been practicing Bikram yoga for three years now, and would like to take a teacher training. However, the tuition cost for that is some $12,000, and well, ONE of my college loans is still around that amount. And that’s just one of them.
I discovered a few months ago (while reading an Austin fit magazine at a Massage Envy) of all places, that there is this wonderful thing called KIDS YOGA! And, not only that, but there is a kids yoga preschool in Austin that was offering a Teacher Training. So I waited until I got paid a few weeks later, and I put down money on that teacher training. I spent the weekend playing yoga games and singing songs with other women who love children and yoga as much as I do. It was magical and inspiring.
Almost three months have gone by since that training, and I have taught ONE yoga class. I excitedly kept emailing the owners of the school that I wanted to audition to be a teacher. But, as with many things, it took time, and I finally went to audition a little over a month later, and I was incredibly nervous because I was being observed and evaluated and I was teaching my first yoga class EVER and I was teaching to THREE YEAR OLDS.
It didn’t go as smoothly as I had wished for it to. But it wasn’t a train wreck either. The owners saw that, and saw that I needed more experience, and maybe it happened with a few other women who wanted to work there, but they created this awesome schedule where those who have done the training can get (unpaid) experience teaching at the school once a week. It really is a great and magical place.
But the point I’m trying to get at is that there are so many paths and ways to get to where we want. We often jump at something because it sounds awesome and perfect and exactly where we want to be.
But there is so much waiting. And even after waiting to do something, there is waiting for the benefits from it.
After spending my early and mid twenties doing what most twenty-somethings do: dabbling in things that sound interesting and figuring out what I actually like and what actually just turned out to “seem like a good idea at the time,” I actually know what I like and want to do:
Something that involves working with kids and singing and yoga. I mean, really, all of these things go so well together. Especially if you put them all in a room at once together, think about how happy and magical that room would be!
But, money, and building a following, and consistent interesting lesson plans, and just gaining experience while still needing to pay my rent– these are things that stop me from being able to do this all the time.
I’ve been feeling so down about myself, and needing a change, but not making the time to apply or search thoroughly for a job that will make me happy right now. So when my boyfriend asked me to think about the future, our future, it reminded me of my mom at the end of my high school career, and then again at the end of my college career:
The, “so what are you gonna do with the rest of your life” question popped up AGAIN.
I’m 27 years old. The rest of my life probably isn’t going to be a straight line. I’m probably not going to have just one job that I find fulfilling for the rest of my life.
But he recognizes that I’ve been unhappy and tired, and that at least getting in the current of change of would make me happy.
So tonight, after procrastinating for awhile on what I’m going to do next, I updated my resume for the first time since moving to Austin two and a half years ago. And, I realized I had a lot of things to add.
That teacher training, for one. The fact that I’m actually a music teacher is another. That BLOWS my mind! Isn’t it wonderful to discover things you like about yourself?
AND the fact that I went to grad school, even for just a semester. Honestly, I felt a little ashamed that I had dropped out for awhile because getting in to UT was one of the defining factors in my decision to move from San Francisco. I moved here and WAITED TABLES for a year and reapplied because I really wanted to go to the school.
And I got there, and I realized that I didn’t want to be in school at all. I also luckily had just landed this music teacher job with help from boyfriend-who-was-just-a-friend-at-the-time RIGHT AFTER my first and only semester of grad school started, and spent that 3.5 month period thinking, “but… I have the job already. Why am I in school taking classes that don’t pertain to what I want to do at all?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did it. But, it would have been nice to NOT owe another $10,000 back ON TOP of the loans I took out for my undergrad studies 10 years ago.
Loans for days, my friends. Years. Decades.
I just needed to write. I don’t think I’m going to tell anyone I made a new post, it’s been almost a year since my last one, when I was so shocked to find out that my ex-boyfriend had gotten engaged, and I felt like I was missing out on something because he was “ahead” of me in “relationship maturity.”
Change is always scary, even if you want it to happen.