episode 55: balancing wants & needs to avoid burnout

well, here we are. nearly 5 months on the road, and this season, it feels different.

last year, i was blissfully unaware of how much money i was spending without replenishing for around the first 4 months. then the last 2 months became so stressful that i couldn’t wait to get home.

this season, i left about 2 months earlier, and by month 3, i was already feeling that paycheck-to-paycheck dread that had me moving money out of my investments and racking up credit card debt to try to get out of.

i know everything happens the way it’s supposed to. i started the online tutoring thing literally days before i left and for the first 2 and a half months, i was making more than enough money to pay my bills and still build my book catalog on the side.

but of course, i didn’t think about what kind of lull summer would bring to online tutoring, so the number of hours i was able to get was literally halved, meaning that it wouldn’t be enough to cover my car note.

so basically every day for the last 2 months, i’ve had downtime to think about how i won’t have enough money to pay my basic bills. 

fortunately, i use this as motivation to start doubling up on my book publishing and building up my digital assets so i can still gradually make money other ways.

i’m constantly reminded not to count on any one form of income because there isn’t a lot stopping it from just falling apart for one reason or another. i hear stories of people’s kdp accounts being banned for no reason (kdp is kindle direct publishing, by the way; you can do your own research) so what’s to prevent my own account from going the same way?

living’s an expensive hobby, even if you are shitting in the woods.

so this is why i’ve been gone. i have to prioritize what’s important to me, and sadly, during these summer months, it’s been making sure i have enough money in the bank.

i wake up in the morning and i think about the things i need to do versus the things i wanna do.

and it’s hard because i’m a creator. i like making music, i like writing songs, i like doing these podcasts, but the capitalist/survivalist in me is saying, “bitch that ain’t making you no money. forget about that goddamn backstreet boys song you’ve been playing on the piano and besides you sing like shit.”

so 90% of the time, i stop tinkling the keys or stop thinking about this podcast because… it ain’t making me no money.

unfortunately, for me, no creative outlet means no way to channel my emotions. there are a lot of things going on back home that makes me feel like i should go back, but then i’m selfish and i think, “no, not until it gets cooler. everyone can wait.” and then i think, what if they can’t wait?

so between that and not making enough money, i just sit and stress because i don’t have the money necessarily to drive home at $5 a gallon.
i mean, i could, but i’m waiting it out. i’m hoping that the fall will bring more hours for me and my books start to do their thing, and then i’ll be less stressed.

i know i won’t go home yet, but i find myself thinking more frequently that i should.

anyways, this isn’t a pity party. it’s more about trying to balance your wants and needs in a healthy way.

yes, i need to make money. but i have a small enough reserve that if i just borrow from myself, i can make it.

what i can’t do is worry about the hours i haven’t gotten yet. i can never predict that, which is why i make sure i do as much i can every day because you don’t really know how you’re gonna feel tomorrow, if you’ll be able to be as productive, if the sessions will be there. if i have the energy to do it today, then i will.

a lot of times, i’ll work myself all day with mental, tedious work, 7 days straight, plan to do the same the next day, then wake up and my brain is like, “not today, devil.” and i end up smoking all day and watching love & hip-hop.

or just looking around and thinking, “i gotta clean up this mess.” then actually do.

idk where the idea that working 80 hours a week is some kind of flex. you are wearing yourself the fuck out, physically, mentally. your relationships are suffering. and you’re proud of how much money you’re making but like, the boss you never see is making 10 times what you’re making off of your labor.

stop simping for your bosses. they’re the ones tricking you into thinking what you’re doing is admirable and those who don’t are just lazy. fuck all that noise. you need time for yourself.

so whatever your creative outlet is, allow yourself some time to do it. if you’re like me, maybe you just schedule it into your day or piggyback it off of another habit you have.

for example, every evening you meditate or brush your teeth, but before that, attach 10 minutes of whatever you like T.I.. you can have whatever you like.

it’s not good for you, OR me, to not allow ourselves time to destress with hobbies or activities we enjoy. and what’s sad is there are a lot of people out there who don’t even know what they enjoy because they’ve never given themselves the time to work on them.

so don’t be that person. i know a lot of people like that. too busy worrying about other things or even other people and never themselves. how can you ever know what makes you happy?

even sitting down and writing this, recording this, was hard. no money in this. but who cares. this project will exist as long as i’m alive and learning, even if i’m not consistent. and even if that means that you all stop listening.

anyways, say hi to your family. call up people who you haven’t heard from in a while because who’s to say the last time you saw each other wasn’t the last time?

it’s a crazy world out there. everyone be safe.

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