“So, what’s your ‘slash’?” asked doe-eyed Ms Hathaway to curly-haired actor, the guy from Pete Versus Life. There was a look of confusion. Mostly from me to my boyfriend who seemed to be enjoying the chick movie I was subjecting him to.
The movie, One Day (loved the book, meh about the movie), was wearing a glorious outfit of Mexican ridiculousness, having been caught in the middle of her shift at work to retrain the newby. He was a comedian/waiter.
That scene proceeded an article about ‘Double Jobbers‘ I read earlier that day. It resonated. Both article and movie clip made me somehow feel better about the situation in which I find myself; a situation that will most likely never change. In most respects, it’s not entirely a bad thing.
For quite some time, I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to try to engineer my creative career to pay for, well, my life, really. To pay for my rent, my food, my dog and her needs, my clothes, my bus fare, my entertainment and God nearly forbid it, the occasional holiday. That’s a lot to demand of print and textiles and stitching. It almost looks like a ludicrous expectation when written out like this. I think I get a bit hung up on my age (wedged somewhere between 30 and 40) and think that surely by now I shouldn’t be having to heft around three job titles. Artist/shop girl/teacher (although the teaching thing is hardly panning out. I mean, I AM on the Supply Teachers register, but all paperwork seemed to scream out ‘Don’t expect us to find you work. We owe you nothing. Love…the Council’).
With that said, I am completely thankful for all the opportunities that have either presented themselves to me, or have happened because I worked towards them. Tonight is my exhibition opening at Hula. Tomorrow night is the exhibition opening at Urban Outfitters. All pieces for both shows were created in the past four months, whilst I worked at a beautiful indie shop in the Grassmarket, and at the same time, volunteering my time at a High School to prove to God knows who that I was serious about securing an art teaching job.
Although this is by no means and easy existence, it is one that fills me with pleasure because I am doing what I love and working hard to take necessary steps forward. I relish the diversity; I know enough about myself to know that I do not thrive in a cubicle. I meet interesting people and find myself in interesting conversations. Just the other day a face surgeon came into the shop. That was an interesting 20 minute conversation (and no, she wasn’t trying to convince me to heft up my brows or tuck in my chin).
There really isn’t any sort of conclusion here, or revelation, or advice, or final thought. If anything, it is somehow comforting to know I’m not doing anything ‘wrong’ or am not working hard enough or smart enough. This is just how it is. I have so many friends that are in the same boat. We should all have a party on this boat. We should name it and perhaps my woodworking friend Steph could create some interesting sculptural piece to whittle out of the front. I could then maybe get Gill to create interesting typography, spurring us forward. We could have necklaces made, brightly coloured prints put up, enlist a cupcake maker and a massage genius to make us all feel good. This ship is full, brimming full of talent, hard work and ambition. Hm. You know. I think I’m rather proud to be on this vessel.