A scattered life with foreign pieces

Every time I think I know what’s important, I find another piece of the puzzle.
“Of course this one should go in there as well!” I exclaim, when I find a tiny furry piece that says “new cat baby 2019”.
Or “write every day”; a piece that I always estimate at sixty minutes a day, but that can blow up to four hours.

But when I peer at the puzzle where “cat baby” or “write every day” should go, I realize that these pieces can only go in there, if I take others out.
Such as this freaking big piece that says:
Sometimes that ugly piece isn’t there, but then there is this other large piece there instead. It says:
job to take care of elderly people or mentally disabled people.
purpose work.
no cats required.

All large chunks that involve me getting a new career or payroll job make a poor fit with the desire to write, because of scarcity of time, and also with the desire for cats.
With the cats it’s not so much a time thing, but it would be hard to leave them at home for nine hours a day. Looking at me with those large eyes. And it would be absolutely impossible to go out for full days if a cat was sick.
Getting a new career taking care of people would at least have the benefit that I could put love and nurture into my work. That it could substitute the need for cats. And then when I had time off, I could go on guilt-free holidays, because I had colleagues take over.
Not two cat babies at home missing their mom.
But this new career would be full-time, at least for the first two years. This has to do with the pretty standard two year job/re-education contract.
I would have to give up teaching yoga, because I don’t want to do that if I’m already busy commuting, working, receiving training and studying.
A 40+++ hour job.

So a job may replace my strong desire to get cats, and give me a nice salary, but there are also Basic Needs that I would need to live without:
To write for this blog.
To have ample time with friends or if I’m really lucky, with my lover Mr.Big.
I would have to let these pieces of the puzzle go.

And then there is this other piece, which fits so well with either getting a part-time job in an unrelated sector (and continue teaching yoga), or with getting a full time job in care or somewhere else.
This strange piece has an abusive message, that nonetheless is so tempting…
It says:

And the more obligations I put together?
The better it fits!

I could have a 40+ hour job AND keep teaching my group classes – a schedule so busy that I would consider killing myself -and yet the STOP BEING AN ENTITLED BITCH piece would still fit.
It would probably have a sadistic side-kick appearing:
“That’s right! That’s what normal people do! It’s about time you learn you’re not entitle to ANYTHING!”
And the “make a full income” piece would be on the table.
But there wouldn’t be any room for something else.

The only thing I could do to create space if “make a full income” and “40+ hour job” were on the table?
Is to stop teaching yoga for two years, so that I at least have some free time for friends, and for writing.
Give up yoga… that’s drastic.

For the past few years I have had this cute, cheap yoga studio in the city center by divine intervention. I made a note-to-self that had the weight of a message tattooed on my arm;
That I would never, ever, give it up.
I would hold on to this small affordable yoga studio with my life.

At the time I had been in business for ten years and every place I had ever rented up until then, had been either too expensive, too cold, too hot, too far away from my other locations. Or it was perfect, but I it didn’t have any options to rent it for more hours.
My tiny yoga studio would always be worth holding on to.
But still.. renting a business space for two years without using it?

This process of trying to fit the pieces together has been going on for over a week. Many things have changed, the puzzle has changed too.
I have cancelled my lease at the most profitable location. It’s not my own studio but a place where I have taught for eleven years.
As soon as I considered going into health care, I realized I couldn’t commit to those classes for another year.
Having a fixed night when I had to teach yoga didn’t make sense if I had to start working in shifts. Or even if I took on another job:
It could easily require me to work that night.

Letting that more expensive location, and that fixed night, go, means I am now free to determine my hours on a flexible basis in my own studio.
I m free to change careers.
But I could also expand my number of classes, if the studio picks up. Which could happen! In my new concept I work from a single location, and we’ll be a private studio for current members, returning members, and their friends.
And if everybody is as enthusiastic about that as I am, I could even end up expanding the number of classes I teach, and a payroll job or new career will no longer be necessary.
And I have a trump card:
Teaching private yoga.
It’s something I have never put my full weight in.
But now I feel I need to do this..
That before I bring out the big gun, a new career, I need to give it another shot to get a full income from “just” teaching yoga.
Which will also allow me to keep writing and to publish books. It’s a tandem strategy; What’s good for yoga is good for writing.

And only if that fails?
If I’ve given it my all, and between now and let’s say six months I don’t see any progress?
Then I ll look at the “real job” option again.

So I was right, when I left that big location, concentrated all my classes and slimmed down the concept to a friends-only studio.
It certainly wasn’t going anywhere the way it was.

But after a week of alternating between crying and being euphoric; And of fitting the pieces together and then finding new pieces and not having a place to put them; I begin to understand that my puzzle may very well not contain a new career, nor any abusive pieces that yell at me. That those pieces just look attractive because they’re so large. They cover a lot of holes.
They cover purpose, they cover income.
They fill up all the holes in my life, and of my career, as well as the hole in my heart where my cats used to be.

But the trick is that despite of their impressive results, they will never truly fit. They’re a cover-up, offering a tempting, complete picture of a life well lived.

But it’s not my life.
It’s a foreign one.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living


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