Caged Bird in Los Angeles writes:
I left my old job a few months ago because it was overwhelmingly busy. In hopes of someday owning a photography business of some sort, I wanted a less stressful job so that I’d have the energy to take photography classes at night. I suppose I didn’t ask the right questions during the interview because once again, I find myself in the same predicament of working at yet another busy job.
To make matters worse, the new job has an added element of a moody micro-managing supervisor. I feel like a tired, old caged bird. I can’t afford to purchase a home of my own, I haven’t met the right man to be married with, and due to my present physical conditions, I’m not even sure if I’d be able to bear children of my own. At age 40, I am completely exhausted with life. Can you offer any flicker of hope for me in the near future?
Dear Caged Bird,
Your current job does seem to be sucking a bit of life out of you, so that is something you need to look at. While you may be stuck working under a micro-managing supervisor, you can still set some mental and emotional boundaries. This is your job, it isn’t your life. And, since it isn’t creating enough money for you to have the home that you want, or creating enough freedom for you to pursue your dreams – you really need to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities that can pay the bills without creating so much exhaustion. It’s going to be tough for awhile, and I’m really not seeing a way around that for you until the later summer months.
In the meantime, look for photography classes that fit into your schedule, rather than disrupt it. You may, even though you are lacking in the experience and formal education, be able to find an apprenticeship-type position with an existing studio. This is a situation that you can create by pounding the pavement and knocking on doors, but not one that will easily fall into your lap. The up-side is a little extra cash and a whole lot of working knowledge, but the down side is you would be working weekends. While this could turn into a full time job opportunity, the money won’t be quite what you need.
Even though it is going to take a couple of years, you and a partner will have a small storefront in which you sell photography equipment and accessories. There will be a tiny studio in the back of the store, but most of your gigs will be snapping photos outside of the studio. It’s a very competitive arena, but between your store and your gigs, you will do quite well. It looks as if you will have contracts that deal with the media or some kind of publishing. While this is going to be a whole lot of work, it won’t be as exhausting as what you’re dealing with now, because it’s yours and you will love it.
You will eventually gain home-ownership through marriage, which is in your future, but still several years away. I don’t see you having any biological children, but I do see children around you. Not trying to scare you, but they seem like grandkids. I’m not saying that you can or can’t have children of your own, but I am being told that you will choose not to. Your future husband will have grown children who will welcome you into the family, and their children will know you as Grandma, and this seems to fulfill your maternal needs.