stay-at-home trophy husband work-from-home artist husband and I owe a few thousand dollars in taxes this year. Welcome to the world of self-employment.
It’s not that Brian and I didn’t prepare for this. It’s just that we’d much rather have that same amount available for groceries. Right now, we hope we have enough for groceries each month, but we’re never sure. This is what it feels like to chase your dreams.
When our accountant gave us the bad news about our taxes, Brian panicked. Then he regretted leaving a stable career and salary in order to pursue his passion. Then Fear set in, and he said, “I guess we’ll be broke and miserable forever.” This is what it feels like to chase your dreams.
And all I could think of was that scene in Thelma and Louise, when (Spoiler alert!) the two protagonists drive off a cliff together in an effort to escape a life of emotional and literal imprisonment.
I’m not saying I want us to commit suicide together in a bad ass blaze of glory. But I was reminded of what it feels like to make a deliberate, scary, extreme decision– and to do it together, hand-in-hand with your partner in crime, knowing that the alternative is far worse. That’s right, I said it: Driving off a cliff to escape from the cops is what it feels like to chase your dreams.
Last year, Brian had two choices: he could work a job that crushed his soul but filled his wallet, or he could work on his art, be a freelance animator, and experience financial uncertainty. We decided we’d much rather live with some anxiety rather than with the misery and rage that inevitably come when Brian spends more time helping businessmen build their dreams than he spends building his own dream.
Anxiety is the fear of potentially suffering in the future. But Soul-Sucking Misery is suffering that is actually happening in the present. We chose Anxiety, not Misery, to play on our kickball team, and we still believe this was a good choice. It’s a lot easier to manage anxiety than it is to manage depression and deep-seated rage. Or so we tell ourselves.
The photo at the top of this post is what I see every day before walking into our ground level apartment after a long day at the office– Brian working on his craft and attempting to make a living off it, which he’s dreamed of doing since age 12. I’ve never told him this, but I love coming home and walking by his office window to find him there.
But yesterday, when I snapped the photo, he turned around and noticed me as I stood watching him. He looked frustrated and scared, caged in a prison of uncertainty. But from the outside looking in, against the backdrop of his artwork on computer monitors, he looked empowered and free. Maybe he’s a little of both.
This is what it feels like to chase your dreams.
Your Turn: What does it feel like to chase YOUR dreams?