I am focusing on re-launching a direct sales business I have been dabbling in for almost 3 years. I have done some learning towards launch a consulting business. And I have done some work towards launching a different, but related, consulting business. My goal in those would be to make enough money to support myself and leave myself enough time to seriously pursue my writing. My goal in writing is to become a New York Times Bestselling Author. Well they say shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll fall among the stars, right? So why not shoot high.
I finished a novel in November for NaNoWriMo. I started another one in December that has already fallen to the back burner, but is patiently waiting for me. I have another novel started, but only a few hundred words written; that one may languish and die, not sure if I'll ever go back and finish it. I have an idea for a screenplay I'm going to write in April for ScriptFrenzy, which I tried last year and failed miserably at; even though that movie is really good and I hope to finish it and get it made some day. And a friend asked me a question on instant messenger the other day and I have my next NaNo novel idea already started. And that doesn't include the note board of ideas and scraps that I have jotted down over the last couple of years and posted for future writing projects.
I am a busy girl. A lot of my "busy" is nonsense and nonproductive and mindless. And that bothers me, but only on a superficial level, I guess. I've read a book and started another on time management. I read a couple different blogs about how to live your life and get more out of it etc. I am reading a book specifically for the novel I started because my main character started reading it, and now I need to so I can flesh out that bit of story. (and boy am I glad I started it ... TOTALLY not what I thought it was about, and totally changes that bit of my story.)
In all of these things they suggest, recommend, command you to "Find Your Passion." (Amy, stay with me, I know you don't get the passion thing ;) hee hee) And one of the suggestions for finding it that they keep saying is "What would you do, or keep doing, if you never got paid for it?" At first I was kind of stumped, probably because I am on unemployment, which doesn't quite cover my very minimized expenses and I am very focused on doing things in order to get paid, not the other way around. But then one day, sitting at this very computer, in the chair I am in right now, it dawned on me. I'm already doing the one thing I would keep doing if I never got paid and I'm doing it for free now!
I volunteer for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the UW-Whitewater campus. Whitewater is where I went to school and InterVarsity was instrumental in my time there and the direction my life took since then. I talk to students, I try to mentor one or two per semester. I pray for them, mostly not with them but as I go through my days. I hug them. I love them. Usually they make me feel cool and young and funny. Some of you make me feel funny and a few of you even make me feel cool ... but I gotta be honest, none of you make me feel young. On the other side of that coin they also make me realize how much I have grown and matured as a person. I go on retreats with them and have the opportunity to share some of that growth and maturity and wisdom with them when they are going through a tough time. I can add a layer of perspective that none of their peers can give them, because they are all still in the same college boat.
And I Love it!
I love meeting with them and getting to know them. I love sharing a different perspective with them or pointing out some bit of something they may be missing but which can be life changing or perspective shifting. I love laughing with them and getting them to laugh at me. This is the thing I would do, well the thing I will continue to do, even though I will probably never get paid for it.
Yes, I could go on staff with InterVarsity. I could apply and do all that work to get "funded" so I can go on campus. But even then the dynamic would change. I'd be more official, so I'd feel like i had to be more official. I'd have to focus more intently on specific students, the administration of the chapter and my fundraising, and on growing the chapter, executing the vision etc. This way, it stays much more like Play.
It takes up two nights a week. And some weeks that feels like a lot. Some weeks I wish I could just have a "normal" life where I do whatever i want to every night of the week. Some weeks I wish I had every night to work that direct sales business in. But I always remember the time before I started "officially" volunteering. I had a normal life for a long time, and seldom did much of anything with it. I mostly visited friends sporadically. And watched a lot of TV. I had my business for at least a year or a year and a half before I started volunteering and didn't do much with it then either. So the joy far outweighs the time commitment.
I will keep volunteering for as long as they'll let me, or until I move away, if that ever happens. I love my students. And I'm going to keep making new friends and keeping the old, just like the Girl Scout Motto says. And I'm going to focus on the enjoyment of it as much as I possibly can. And I'm going to keep getting younger ... until I'm about 21, then I'll stay that age, cause who wants a middle schooler giving them career advice?? ;)