I’ve been bouncing over the figures for days now, worst and best case scenarios, what I need – both financially and for my soul. It comes down to one obvious answer, but in a game ruled by fear, decisions are excrutiatingly difficult.
Working a job that I enjoy but certainly don’t love, a job where I feel that I am unapreciated, treated like someone lesser-than, a low paid servant. The money I earn for what I do doesn’t feel like it matches up to what I feel I should be making for what I do, but that is understandable to a certain degree. I have many talents, and have no outlet for them here. i am fresh meat in the fine dining arena, and though I have done very well at learning the ropes, I do understand paying dues. I believe i have met every challenge well – I am certain I have. There is appreciation felt by everyone but Marc – who determines where I stand on the pay scale.
This paycheck was something of a test – my first entirely as a front waiter, where the money is supposed to be much better, and it certainly *is* better, I cam close to doubling my last paycheck – but when it comes down to it, it is still less than $10 per hour. Since then they have re-hired people that have come back from Katrina, and I find myself as a back waiter much more frequently again.
So this is where fear comes into the equation. Quit this job and perform on the street full time, very likely making double per hour what I’m making now but also influenced by weather and tourist saturation, loving every second of it and getting my ass out there and available, being appreciated, getting known, refining my talents and practicing new ones in my spare time, meeting amazing people and networking – or remaining in the restless frustration of knowing that a paycheck is coming, but it won’t be enough.
I work at a very high-brow (if occasionally not high class) establishment – a restaurant that has been around since 1920, is an institution in New Orleans, that Pope John Paul II has eaten at, and if i stick with it, could be a very good reference in future need. I enjoy most of the people i work with, and I enjoy the pace of it. I, alone, have perfect knowledge of the duties of a back-waiter, which allows Leonard Skinner, the kitchen manager and a man I respect quite a bit, the ability to go home and know things will be taken care of, instead of working 16 hour shifts. He appreciates me, but he is not the one responsible for my pay or position. Tonight i worked as a back-waiter, and at the end of every evening we sign the pay sheet – the captains made $107 in tips, each. – I made $39.
I know the answer to this. i know I should stop working there and devote all of my time to performance – there is nothing I would love more – but there is nothing concrete, there is nothing guaranteed. I would depend solely on what i could create for gigs, and what the hat held at the end of the day – but the day would be mine.
Still, telling a landlord that I owe quite a bit of rent to and has made it painfully clear that she has the right to ask me to leave at any time she wishes that I have left my employment at a restaurant like Broussard’s to stand on the street and hope for scratch – that terrifies me.
But I just thought of something else which eases the terror slightly. Each day I get out there, I will be able to offer her cash at the end of the day, instead of what it has been – every two weeks, a small pittance.
I need some input here, please. I am willing to do everything it takes to make my life what I dream it to be – what i know it could – and should – be, but I teeter on a strange precipice – security without needs met and being too tired to get out and perform, or, at least for the time, complete insecurity, jumping on the dream wagon again and hoping it works out.
I know my nature these days now that I’ve finally become me – and i have consulted my Runes, which give me hope and encourage what i want to do, but –
but i am afraid. I don’t want to lose my home, again. Things are different this time, of course – I am an entirely different person, I have found things inside of myself, I have found more ways to be profitably usefull outside – but still, there is a fear.
Sacrifice security to follow dreams, sacrifice my soul for security, or find a middle ground?