Editor’s note: This post, and others like it will serve as the safe space where our dancers and choreographers share their concerns about life in the creative arts field and finding the balance between the dancer and the pedestrian. These are anonymous, and if you’d like to share your tale, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my life I was told, “make sure you go to school, educate yourself and then you will find a job and things will be fine.” I wish someone had told me that after years of school you end up at a job that feels like a prison that pays you. I wish I had been told that after a job that’s it! Because that’s how I feel. I’ve worked so hard for years, got the degrees and the job, yet I am truly experiencing an unhappiness.
When I was developing my technique as a dancer, I remember people telling me how important it was to have a back-up plan or another job. Of course I listened because I am all about back up plans and explored Creative Arts Therapy (CAT), which truly educated me on a whole new level and I would never regret my experience and my education, but now I work somewhere that I feel stifled. There are many reasons why I truly dislike my job; such as the fact that I am the only person my age in the building, no one knows or understands the kind of work I do as a CAT and no one cares. I feel alone and frustrated. Of course the next step for me is to find another job right?
Wrong. I have come to the conclusion that a 9-5 is not me. Call me spoiled, although I do not consider myself even close to spoiled considering my socio-economic background and the struggle I endured to get to where I am. Call me a brat, or even feel free to say “HEY! IT’S A PART OF LIFE!” The truth is, I don’t believe it has to be a part of your job if you don’t want it to be. Maybe it’s my inner artist or the frustration that I haven’t truly fulfilled my need to dance. I don’t think this is the case, but a full-time 9-5 job where you are contained and must act a certain way all the while ignoring the hypocrisy and hierarchy isn’t for me.
Staff members already look at me dirty because I have an office and more education than they do, but they forget that I worked my ass off just to get where I am now. Why am I saying all of this? Because I realize how much of my time I want to focus on dance. I mean I didn’t give my plan A up, I just combined my Plan A & B together, which actually has been pretty amazing up until now. Now I just want to bang my head against my desk until I bleed and maybe pass out which might give me a few days off from work, but would not solve my problem permanently.
I’ve told myself I am going to leave this place the way I have always wanted to, with an amazing dance opportunity that will not only support me financially on a HUGE scale but will give us the boost needed for us to grow. I WILL THRIVE. I will not allow my life to pass me by at a job that makes me feel miserable and unhappy. I worked hard not to just get out of poverty but to be happy doing what I love to do, which is dance and I WILL DO IT. That is my dream job and I will get it.