I mentioned my work-life balance was crazy once upon a time ago.
It was predictable as much as it was relentlessly unpredictable: working around a schedule that lacked any forward-thinking draining most of my energy, driving me to burn the candle at both ends, eight days a week. I was feeling overburdened and frustratingly exhausted. Driving through LA during peak hours also makes my eye twitch beyond my well-being.
I’ve been doing freelance for nearly eight years now and for more than half of this time, I have had a full-time job. It was quite the balancing act that can be emotionally and mentally exhausting leading to a burnout. There were definitely not enough hours in the day.
I’ve worked the 9-5, 10-6, 11-7, weekdays, weekends, to come home and work until 2-3am to finish freelance projects. Sometimes the odd schedule worked depending on the time difference between my clients. By the time I had any one-sheets to show them to review, they’d be waking up to my emails, lol. So it worked out in most cases.
But, boy, did I burn out super fast. It had become of a battle of the passions, because I have become so emotionally engrossed in my work that I feel bad for losing momentum when and I always try to do my best to make up for lost time if there are any, even if it means I’m allowed only ten minutes to work on it.
My career goal has shifted when I quit my job in Hollywood last year to work from home as a glorified art director and storyboard artist because time was important to me and I was tired of losing too much of it, as it kept me from further developing myself as a creative in the way I wanted to be without any outside influences that boxed me in.
I’m not going to sugar coat that it’s difficult. But is it worth it? Absolutely. I’m very strict on myself (different than being hard on myself) and I give myself a loose list of rules to follow every day so I get something done.
It really comes down to the question of “How badly do I want this?”
A lot of the time I do want it pretty damn badly. I draw and write, so when appropriate, I doodle or write on my phone or whatever the hell I have near me when I’m not at home. Even if I’m not doing full fleshed out pieces, I do my best to get ideas in my head down as fast as possible—no matter what.
Finding the balance between your day job and passion is the ability to adjust your priorities to be more in favor of your career; on top of taking the time to care for your well-being, without losing sight of the mandatory life responsibilities.
One can never truly grow without any challenges, so as I have said in the past, I’m not afraid of change; instead, I embrace it and if it’s necessary to make adjustments, I will. Knowing where I stand and what I need to work on is important to me. I will always and continuously be grateful for the opportunities that come my way. I live and breathe what I do as growth in my skills is something that I hold important to me, so I am always going to strive to be better.