Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

On Growing Up, and Things To Be When You Do…

Let it not be said that I am unhappy with my station in life.  I’m not rich, but I am comfortable.  I don’t quite make enough to be the sole breadwinner in the household – but with a smaller mortgage (aka NOT buying a 4 bedroom house in the exact neighborhood we wanted) and less of a car payment (hello, hybrid luxury car), I could probably make a stab at it.  I have the possibility and experience in the next few years to get a title and salary bump that makes sense (taking the Associate out of my title, or as I like to say – removing the Ass from my Prod), and frankly, which I think I deserve with the time I’ve put in.

However, I’m seeing game studios collapse around me left and right.  We are actually doing really freaking well in the midst of the chaos, but a year from now… who knows?  It’s really hit me lately that beyond project management and game design, I have very few marketable skills.  What happens if the well dries up here in Austin and moves on, and I don’t want to move on with it?  I love living here.  It is PERFECT for me.  Cost of living affords me a mortgage and not a rent check each month, unlike other hot spots like So Cal.  The weather here really jives with me.  I don’t think I could do somewhere rainy like Seattle or cold like the Boston area.  I feel at home here like I never have in a place before – the people are quirky and awesome and friendly, it’s not weird to be active, and there is always cool stuff going on and it’s not like you have to be a cool kid to know about it.

So what’s a gal to do?  I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  If I want to stay here, what is my backup plan?  It’s entirely possible I’m worried about nothing but… I always am thinking, “what’s next”.  Some people’s jobs make sense as a freelancer/online.  Outsourced art and programming (to a lesser extent) is common in the games industry – design and production aren’t and those are my specialties.  While I enjoy project management for a fun industry like gaming, I have my doubts about moving into something more mundane like software development or a pants factory or whatnot.  If I’m not having fun, it will not work for me.  Whatever I spend 40 hours or more doing has to at least make me feel proud/interested in the product.  So… what else am I interested in to the point where I could envision myself doing them full time?

Writing.  If I could make a living doing it, I would LOVE to write full time.  I wasn’t sure if I could write on a schedule but coming up with something 3-4 times per week for the last year and some change (minus a couple weeks of crazy) has proven to me that I can indeed be self motivated and produce semi-coherent diatribe on topics that interest me.  The next step for me gaining confidence here is plunging into NaNoWriMo.  If I can get at least a crappy novel under my belt, I can evaluate whether I could consider doing this for a living.  I feel the same way about it as I do a marathon.  I just want to go the distance at least once to see if it’s for me.

Film/TV production.  I think it would be a natural step, and Austin is becoming a mini-Hollywood as of late.  It’s always something I’ve been interested in and I’m starting to have the contacts to at least consider the move.  But it would probably be more of the same (crazy hours, stress, waiting around for things to happen, etc).

Then Zliten went and got me thinking last night… he was talking about doing the 30 minute workout circuit at Planet Fitness and then was trying to get out of it by saying he just wanted to come home.  I made him a circuit that was just evil enough but not too crazy evil and he swore at me when he finished but looked like he had gotten a good workout.  I’m always trying to tweak my workouts and food intake/ratios/etc.  I’m horribly interested in what other people eat.  I always feel like if I knew more, I’d be more successful at maneuvering through this healthy living thing, and I’ve pretty much exhausted the internet.  Sure, occasionally, I happen upon something new, but usually, I find myself going – “Duh.  Thanks captain obvious.”  And then realize that to 99.9% of the world is not as bored as I has not had the time, attention, nor want for looking this up.  As I have.  And I want more.

I find myself now tentatively pondering about thinking about perhaps sticking my toe into the waters of academia again.  Previously I’ve been very anti-school because my thesis ruined school for me and I’ve said for the greater part of a decade I was done with it forever.  Maybe not.  I also said I’d never wear bell bottoms and I rocked them yesterday.

The idea of going back to school at age 30, with a full time job, with other extra curricular pursuits (hi 2 u training for a marathon) is pretty damn daunting.  The starting salaries of either a dietitian or a personal trainer don’t look promising.  I would be taking a pay cut fo’ sho unless somehow my management skillz could get me into a supervisory job.  The idea of actually having to recruit clients seems daunting as well.  It’s most likely that this is NOT the job for me.

But the idea of something that could possibly done online or freelance sounds awesome.  It frustrates me to no end having to show up for work some days when I don’t have a full day of work to do, and just sit here and wait because we are required to at least put in our 8 hours.  And it’s possible that there may be a time in my life where a full time 40 hour a week job is not a viable option.  I’ve done the traditional “go to work, do my time, get a paycheck, and go home” thing all my life.  I’d at least like to see how the other half lives before I run screaming back into a position of stability, comfort, and regularity.

I think the first step (after I’m done with NaNoWriMo, of course, I’m already hearing the, “are you done writing YET?  There are THINGS to DO…” voices from the peanut gallery) is to maybe check out some coursework books on nutrition and training.  Give them a read.  See if it’s anything I want to learn about.  Go from there.  The local U has degree programs in just about anything nutrition/fitness/exercise/training/etc I want to pursue so I’ve got that going for me.

I always thought I was going to keep climbing my way up.  First take over a game.  Then take over a department.  Then – who knew, maybe run my own company some day.  Now, it’s entirely possible I might get bitten by the draw of being an exec again, but I’m toying with the idea that maybe the ladder isn’t where I’ll be the happiest.  Maybe it is.  I just don’t know anymore.  I’m sure this is just me being a little unenthused with my current task at work and day dreaming.  But maybe it’s more than that.

I know some of you out there at least do/have done side jobs writing, training, maybe there’s even a dietician or someone that’s worked with film/tv/broadcast stuff out there.  Talk to me.  Did you leave your cushy corporate job for it?  Did you regret it at all?  Is there any way in hell to make a decent salary at it (think mid to upper 5 figures +)?  How was the schooling?  Did you go for a degree or certifications?  What did you exactly do when you became gainfully employed?  What did you love and hate about it?  If not – what is your dream job?  What steps are you taking to get there?  How did you know what you were doing was right for you?

Don’t worry – I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled bitchfest in no time about the scale not budging and screwing up over the weekend and how Jillian can go eat a… um… carrot for the torture she hath brought upon us in Level 3.

More demotivational fun here!


This Is How I Do It…


Bursting On The Scene


  1. Interesting post…interesting to think about! Here’s to you keeping the great job you have and getting the promotion which would allow the flexibility to think about what else you might like to do – rather than being forced!

  2. Finding a good job can be pretty troublesome. Especially when you have high expectations.

    Here are some tips that helped me land the job of my dreams:

    * Plan out your CV, if you’ve never done a CV before, this is the time to learn.
    * Think about all the jobs you are qualified for. This may lead to discovering additional jobs you could land.
    * Look for jobs in every possible source : internet, newspaper, radio and other media. Ask your friends that have similar jobs if there may be an opening in their company.
    * Don’t just send the resume by email and wait for an answer. You need to call them and have them confirm the job opening and receiving your resume.

    Finding a job is pretty much a job in itself and it’s all about how well can you market your abilities.

  3. Follow your heart! Go with your passion! You’re still young enough to learn for awhile and establish yourself before too many gray strands start showing through.

    I’ll be following your journey. 😀

  4. syl

    I turned my whole life around, gave up my career and decided to watch my children grow. Never in a million years did I think I wouldn’t be working. I have never looked back.
    Sometimes we have to do things that just feel right,and take a risk.
    You seem to have everything you want in life, don’t give up what you love for glamour.
    We too had to change things to make them work but i don’t need a huge mortgage to be happy.
    good luck with what ever you decide, I know it probably won’t be easy for you, and I hope you are able to do what will make you happy, because in the end that’s all that matters.

  5. Yeah, level 3 is mighty tough but, as you said, the traveling push-ups are kinda painfully awesome.

    I worked in the corporate world for 13 years before leaving to go freelance. Actually, not true. I left at one point to do freelance publicity when I lived in NYC and that lasted a whole four months. I couldn’t handle the stress of not getting paid regularly.

    In 2006, I left very well paying job because it was just too much stress, bs, whatever. I was also pregnant & knew I didn’t want to work there w/a baby. Anyway, I reached out to old contacts and started picking up freelance writing jobs (I had done some here and there before quitting my job). I LOVE it. We rely mostly on my husband’s salary and benefits, but my income in important. So, I work from home while caring for my son. Some days it’s nuts, other days are total peace!

    Go for what you want. Don’t wait and think yourself out of taking a risk!

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