I used to have a 40 hour a week job, with benefits. Money was good and my finances were pretty stable. I was also miserable. My job was murdering my soul, slowly. When I unexpectedly found myself jobless. My first thought was, ‘How am I going to live, now?’.
Everything around me seemed to be directing me to massage school. My awesome parents helped me out while I went to school. I had to put a lot of stuff in storage, move in with my parent’s, with my son, budget a car payment and get a student loan. It was a challenging transition. When I went to school, most of my classmates were in transition. Most of us were strapped for cash. It was a full time program so working, while going to school was a challenge I was not up for. Some did and you could see the weariness in their faces. I was lucky that my parents helped and let me be able to focus on my schooling.
I loved massage school! I just wished they had given us the business classes in the first semester instead of the last. Maybe, because if students really knew about the bureaucracy, fees, and the racket that is the CEU business, they’d loose half the students. I know I was aghast when I found out the hoops involved in becoming a licensed massage therapist. But, I went through them all and here I am.
It irritates me to no end when I watch some of these commercials for massage schools. They start out with a person who looks so sincere when they talk about how much they love the work and helping people feel good. Then, towards the end. They give sly grin and say, almost seductively. “You can make a lot of money.”
Yeah, if you’re a machine, or a savvy, business oriented, person. Rock on! But there are quite a few massage therapists who aren’t so gifted. Others, like me. You see, I’m one of those creative, sometimes, impractical, low maintenance, people. I once knew a guy who tried to insult me by saying I lived like a monk. I took it as a compliment. I don’t need the massive, cable package and new car payment, latest phone, computer.. It goes on and on.
I know many massage therapists who work several jobs. Not all of them massage oriented. I did that, too. I felt that it was taking energy from what I want to do. I love bodywork. I’m really good at it. I’m just not very good at self promotion or marketing. I have many ideas but don’t know where to start on them to really get them going. sadly, this all boils down to my personal lack of funding.
The work I do now is not steady. It does not have the full benefits I used to enjoy. I drive a car that’s old enough to buy itself a beer. I’m replacing it, one piece at a time. I’d like to get a new table. I live in a funky, cheap rental with a small, backyard. It’s my slice of ghetto heaven, I have time to paint and play in my garden. I am happier now, than I ever was when I had the full time job with benefits.
It’s my birthday today. I wanted to think about my goals for the next year. Yes, I think of my birthday as my own, personal New Year’s Day. I’d like to see more economic security, for all. Why do some people have such a hard time sharing? How much do you really need? Yesterday, Nelson Mandela died. I want to see humanity playing nice with each other. I want people to feel safe, be fed, sheltered and have hope. I plan on socializing and networking more. I have ideas that need to meet people who can help make them happen.
Is that too much to ask?