on facing the black hole

If you’ve been following this blog since its creation, you’ll know that a lot of what I started off talking about was my transition from University graduation, to soul crushing grocery store job, to internship with a Canadian charity and finally, to a personal venture I was really stoked about – The Storytelling Project. If you’ve been consistently following us since then, and are a particularly astute observer, you may have noticed that any further mention of the project after its launch has been strangely absent.

Things have fallen slightly off the wagon, it would seem. Not to say that I don’t still love the notion of pursuing it. Its just been, well, a mixture of things. Having a ton of footage but no time to edit it is the first problem. And to be fair, work (paid work, that is) has kept me quite busy as of late, and I’ve been doing a much better job at balancing my life – I’m still not sleeping a ton, but at least now I’m no longer working 15-20 hours a day.

All of these things aside, however, I think the main thing stopping me from pursuing it full steam ahead, is fear. Fear of the uncertainty. Of the question marks. Fear of the black hole. To pursue The Storytelling Project full time would be to risk it failing, to risk my financial well-being, to leave a job I am mostly stable in and, in general (despite recent events), enjoy.

I know that I love talking to people and collecting their stories. I know that I love using my skills in video production and narrative creation to craft a visually engaging story. I know that I love the idea of doing that as a career. I just don’t know…how. How to bring it from a fun, enjoyable thing I do in my spare time, and make it into a thing that pays the bills. I know that the answer is probably to just go for it, but it’s easier said than done. Especially when I get emails once a month from the Ontario government reminding me how much I owe in student loan debt.

Like I said last time, though, I don’t want to let money dictate my decisions. And so, the fun of transitioning to adult life. Things are never quite easy, and never quite clear. It’s a bit of a black hole. A bit of a journey through a thick fog. You know which way you want to go – it’s just the path there that is unclear.

And so that’s where I sit currently: at the intersection of where  am and where I know I want to be, one foot hovering in the air, slowly moving back and forth between the scary, uncertain path with the patch of light somewhere down the road, and the constant, familiar path that is lit along the way but doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere in particular.

I simultaneously do and do not understand how the choice can seem so obvious and so difficult at the same time. And its not like I dislike the things that I’m doing now – my job with a Canadian Charity and contract videography work for a University – I just know that they’re a place holder. A momentary thing keeping rent paid and belly full. They aren’t leading me anywhere beyond the place I’m already in. That said, I also enjoy them enough to keep doing them, despite knowing I’d be happier with TSP.

There are other parts to this quandary, too. The somewhat hilarious notion that I’m scared to start because I’m scared to see it fail, all the while the site sits un-updated, the footage un-edited, and my dream of taking TSP to a place where people and organizations are actively seeking me out to tell their story, as far away as ever. It has, as much by inaction as by potential action and outcome, failed. Then there’s the people I feel I’m letting down – those who believed in me and cheered me on when I started, and those whose stories I’ve collected but, by my inaction, smothered. Kept hidden and collecting dust, instead of letting them out into the wild, to be consumed by others.

Part of me wants to force myself into action by quitting my jobs. Fight fire with fire and overcome my fear by injecting a new kind of it into my brain; use the threat of dwindling groceries and looming rent payments to get my butt in gear. The other part of me thinks that’s stupid and isn’t afraid to vocalize it. I don’t know which part is right. I’m just hoping that, somehow, I can find the courage to step into the black hole and get things back on track.

Whatever does end up happening, I’ll be sure to share.

Until next time.

Ambiguously yours,

-t

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