I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for the last week. I’ve been pushing to make some passive income on patreon and ko-fi since May. I’ve been working to up my social media following since November. I’ve been reaching out for more followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest even. Push, push, push. I swear, if I keep pushing, I should just take a Lamaze class.

I’m trying hard to create an income. My SO works hard to provide for me and the house. However, as an only child, I was raised with the mentality that I would be expected to do something “productive” with my life. I quite honestly feel like I’m free-loading most of the time. Also, household chores were shared between my folks and me, so becoming a “housespouse” feels more like I’ve just turned into a kept maid and cook. It feels a little demoralizing sometimes, the way media portrays housespouses.

I went to university with a goal in mind. Different circumstances lead to a myriad of changes for that goal. Originally I went to become an international Asian antiques acquisition (lawyer with a bachelors of Asian Studies and minor in Japanese and Chinese). I had to change university when I lost the ability to continue with in state tuition (bad relation broke down and had to move.) I applied to learn how to run a bed and breakfast through restraunt and hotel management, but switched that to Geology so I could become a Paleontologist. The school goofed my transcript and I wasn’t able to take a class I had to take at a very specific time to stay on track for graduating in a timely manner and had to transfer to a different degree. By this point, I already had enough classes and they were jacking the tuition rate up again that I just folded and took a Liberal Arts degree with emphasis in Asian Art History and Asian History with a minor in Sociology. I was pulling 18-20 hours each semester and graduated early. I just barely escaped with a low student loan because of that hustle.

In the end, I was hoping with that degree to go to Tokyo University for a Masters in Japanese Art History/History and a Ph.D. in Japanese Art History/History to become a professor or work for a museum.

My SO ended up landing a sweet gig. It’s been solid, stable, and comes with insurance. It also pays well enough that we were aware that anywhere that I could work while we paid off my student loans would actually force us into a financial position lower then a standard that we wanted to maintain. We could have done it. We decided not to. So, we paid off the student loan, bought a house, and a car and kind of had to throw my dreams out the window. I’ve been throwing them out the window for years now. It seems normal now. It seems that I’m destined to sacrifice this part of me in exchange for the safety of a good house and a secure job that pays well enough for me to not have to struggle.

That still leaves me mentally unfulfilled. Which gets me in to trouble. Got land? Why not make it into a hobby farm? Got a talent for art and writing? Why not become an author and an illustrator? Got a burning desire to travel? Uh…that one takes a lot of money.

So, where am I at now? I’m trying to push really hard to make a comic book and create a fanship that would love to interact with me at conventions. I’m trying to put together a patreon an ko-fi with hopes that some fans will like my product so much that they might through a dollar my way every once in a while so I can feel like I can pay for my adobe illustrator subscription with my own money. I feel like a freeloader and I’d like to stop feeling like a freeloader. I’ve started up a Zazzle website to place my designs on items that people can buy if they don’t like donating directly. This way they get something, and I make a 5%-8% royalty on whatever they buy. It’s not much, but I’m hoping that with hard work and dedication, I can make it into a living paycheck.

At this point, I have to wonder what I really want out of that paycheck.

  • Pay for my adobe illustrator subscription ($21 a month)
  • Pay for a new laptop because the desktop cries when I use illustrator now and it would free up space to not have that old lug about (~$3000)
  • Pay off the rest of the car loan in one fell swoop (that would open up a lot of opportunities)
  • Go back to school to obtain a minor in Japanese (I want to pass the JLPT N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1 before I die)
  • Would I move to Japan? SO and I had that option presented to us over this last spring with a job offer that sounded too good to be true. I had no resources other than SO and when we punched the numbers, there was going to be nothing left over for me to go back to school on like we thought we would be able to do (they have a high tax rate compared to where we live that made it stupidly expensive). I wish so badly that I had been able to contribute financially to the household and been able to make that dream possible, but we just couldn’t figure out how to make it work for us. I want that opportunity to come back in a safe way.
  • Would I sell it all to go to Japan if I knew I could contribute an income? No. We both want to retain the house in case things in a foreign country fall apart and we have to bail to come back. We want the safety net of something to come back to.
  • If there was a way to make all that a financial possibility and had a fluency rate of at least a JLPT N2, I would go to Tokyo University for a Masters degree in a heartbeat. That still leaves the problem that we want to keep the house, but what would my potential job do for us? There’s no where for my passion to fit in the town we live in or the cities we are close to. The best bet is to move several thousand miles away to the coastlines where there are museums and community that would make sense for my degree. This would sink us into a financial pit problem, seeing as living expenses go way heck and gone out the door when you move out to the coasts, and it would not allow us to maintain the same living standard that we enjoy now. Am I willing to sacrifice our living standard for my passion? My life isn’t a video game, I don’t get to redo it when I die. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I regret not taking the extra year and getting a firm degree and a minor in Japanese while I had the opportunity and just taking the student loan. I regret not becoming an archaeologist, a paleontologist, a mineralogist, an international lawyer. I wish I’d be brave enough to get certified in CELTA and go teach English in Japan for a few years.
  • Bucket List? Go back and see more of Japan. See Australia before the coral reef dies. Take a train vacation through some of Europe. Visit the UK and see the Isle of Skye. Install a solar array, rain water system, and proper garden at the house. Install compost bins and figure out how to effectively use them. Volunteer with the rose society to maintain a historical garden in the city over. Spend a eco-tourism vacation picking up litter along a beach side and learning more about the marine life. Join up with a team to plant a million trees somewhere. Take a full year of ballet and rock climbing classes.

So, where does that leave me with all the hustle I’ve been doing this week? I want to feel like I can contribute to the family. I want to pay for my software subscription and for the things I want to do to improve myself and my world. At the end of the day, if you’re wondering where your money is going by funding any of my stupid little social media pages, it’s that. It really is that. Just wanting to get out of debt and be a better person.



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I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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