Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Feeling Trapped

I want to apologise for how quiet it's been around here lately. Everytime I think "I must post to Inspire Create" - well I just don't feel inspired to!! Terrible state of affairs when this site is all about inspiring people, and I can't even inspire myself.

So I got to thinking about why I feel so uninspired at the moment...and it's because I feel trapped and burnt-out. I know exactly what I want to be doing and how I want to do it. I have saved up enough money to quit my day job and know that I'd be OK for at least 6 months until (hopefully) I started making a living from my creative pursuits, I know exactly what I'm going to do, I've planned my marketing strategies, I've done courses to improve my skills and have made prototypes of my products. I feel pretty well prepared.

So what's stopping me I hear you cry (or is that just the voices in my head?!?). I've thought long and hard about my reasons for not making the leap and I don't think I'm using excuses (you may beg to differ). Yes I am a little scared about leaving my safe, well-paying job, but at the same time I know it's sucking the life out of me.

No, I feel trapped because I have people who rely on me and I take that responsibility very seriously. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but suffice to say, I have family and friends who are currently going through tough times and I know that having me as a safety net (financially and/or emotionally) is helping them deal with the tough times. How can I then say to them "oh, I know a couple of hundred bucks would get you out of trouble right now, but seeing as I just quit my job I can't help you out", or "yes, I know that if I spent my whole weekend helping you do such-and-such it would really ease your stress levels, but I've got a new business to run - I don't have a spare second". So, I feel selfish for even considering putting my dreams before helping them - if you can't help your family when they are in need it's a really sad day. I hope I don't need it, but maybe one day I'll need them the way they need me now.

Sorry to be on such a downer!! But while thinking about all this stuff, I realised that surely I'm not alone. There are other people feeling trapped or burnt out by their responsibilities. How do they cope? So I started looking around the net and found a few articles, which I thought I'd share with you. I still know that I can't follow my dream full time just yet, but at least I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've also promised myself one night a week to do exactly what I want (see a movie, sleep for hours, read a book, soak in the bath, whatever) as a battery recharge so that I have the strength to deal with all this. Because the fact of the matter is, the sooner everyone is back on their feet - the sooner I can do what I want!!

Finding Hope in Trying Times

The Creativity Beast

The Top Ten Benefits of Play

Chronic Creativity

Talent Development Resources

UPDATE 14/7/05 - ouch - I just reread this post and it's very negative isn't it? This is very out of character for me, my glass is usually always half full! I must say, just getting that off my chest yesterday has made me feel better. When you write these things down I think it helps to put them in perspective.

1 comment:

maria said...

Michelle, it's a tough balancing act ... our needs and everybody else's needs. My experience is that sometimes others' needs are really 'legitimate' -- everybody hits rough spots from time to time; and sometimes others' needs are created by their own pattern of choices and behaviors, and putting my energy into helping them deal with what are really symptoms actually reinforces and rewards the pattern. I guess I try to look at what they are doing to help themselves, and also what I need to be well. Like I said, it's a balancing act ... but if you have a strong 'helping' gene (like I do), there will always be people wanting your help, and I find that if I'm always putting other people's needs before my own, or help other people with the expectation that someday they will help me, I find myself getting resentful and building energy that's not healthy.

Having said all that, it sounds like you're taking all the steps necessary to prepare yourself for when you feel the time is really right for you to make the leap. All that preparation will pay off, believe me, and in the meantime, hopefully you can have enough of the creativity stuff going on the side to keep you energized.