Whenever I get engaged in conversations, it always makes me think - during and after. Thinking about the connections of subjects and people, to me and to what I live. Just by the fact of being able to express myself, I manage to iterate so many other things. The brain works in funny ways. It is a constant exercise I set to myself - the self observation. How do I respond to a question? What is the first thing that comes into my mind? What is the tone I choose (or don’t) to answer? And what is going on with my heart at that moment? Does it pulse quietly or intensely? And this observation happens in so many connections and situations. I see it as a constant self knowledge to really feel what moves me more - and what less. And that is really about feeling - not thinking. The feeling comes from the inside, from our essence, from our heart.
One of these days, I was having a conversation within a group of people. The theme was the different types of working routines. The ones that work in the corporate world, multinationals, little companies, new business’ and the self-employed. They are all work - and they are all so different. And so similar at the same time. The focus of the conversation was around one person that works in a really big structure that involves a factory, production lines and thousands of people. And, on the other hand, me - an artist. Yes, an artist. And soon the conversation turned to me: “Kalina, what an amazing life you are building for yourself, right? Such a smoother routine then working for a multi business. You don't have time table to go in and out, extra working hours, or to report to a superior. You are your own boss.”
I noticed my heart pumping a bit harder now. I took the time to breath in before I said anything. And then it came: “Yes! It is amazing. My days are amazing. They are never the same, they are dynamic, creative and I have the opportunity to get to know places, people and towns. And all of this is possible because of something that comes from within, from my essence, from my heart - my art. It is amazing indeed! And yes I am my own boss.” I paused, smiles and added: “Im just not sure if that is a good thing or not” And i kept going...
My routine exists - but at the same time it doesn’t. I don’t have anyone to tell me what time I start or finish, but at the same time, if I don’t create my one timing, what will be achieved by the end of the day? During my days I create to do lists, which involve priorities and other minor things; I work on my finances - what comes in and what goes out - I manage my house and my company, I sit in my car for hours, travelling to clients and events, I read, I study, work, cook and exercise. And yes, I do create too. My art. On whatever surface I’m in the mood to. And by the end of the month, what comes in depends uniquely on me. Yeap, just me!
Some may call it a serene work or routine, just because I work with what I love. Just because I’m an artist. But I call it life. My life. There is no such thing as dividing what work is and what is not. There is no such thing as “getting out of the routine” when you have the chance to do some field work, when you are actually used to sitting in a little box in between hundreds of people. There is no such thing as a boss, but there is also no pre established structure or organisation. There is no salary or security when the month comes to an end. There are no two days that are alike. And even so, the work exists. In an intense and fulfilling way. I create my own routine, inside these routinely days. And this is essential for this way I see - and live - my life.
What I eat in the morning will have an impact on my energy levels during the day. Which means focus, productivity and inspiration. It is about wellness of the body and mind in every day. This combination of factors will guide the week, the month, and the results by the end of the month. I have to set limits, to myself and to the others too. There is no such thing as “drop the pen” and head of home. Work is always present - and everywhere. By working with what I love, and of what I am, I have to be active all the time. Everything - and everywhere - I see opportunities, I connect to people and situations, I observe and absorb. And all of this does not work inside a structure - it works for me - and on the impact I want to generate in my sphere of influence. Yes, I am my own boss. And I have to admit it is intense. I’m not an easy one :P
This structure I created depends on determination and discipline - and much more than that - on love! Love for what I do - and especially for myself. I have to work on the balance between studying, inspiring, producing and also resting. It is always a win win situation. My heart was still pounding loudly when I talked about it all with passion. Yes I fall in love every day for this lifestyle I choose to live - every day. But my heart was also pounding because I felt I needed to show that there are differences. There are different structures and people. There are people that love the security, having a boss and a salary by the end of the month. And that is great. Really! I respect all of you who live this life - because I realised, still in a young age, that this wasn't for me. I belong to the other group. The self-employed ones. Or more than that, I like to see myself as a person who lives life at its fullest (most of the time), where there is no segregation between what is work and what is the rest of the time. And this is what moves me, what makes my heart cheer. I don't like to think of myself as a boss - not my own and not one to other people to whom I’m connected to. I believe in more of a horizontal system, where there is a real exchange, a sum, a partnership and a way to grow together, hand in hand. One soul helps the other. One is part of the other. And that is why my heart jumped up and down again.
By the end, everyone just stared at me for a few seconds - in silence. I see that many people don’t really stop to think and feel what it is to be self-employed, or work with yourself - your image, your product - with yourself. It’s not “just” amazing to live like that. There is a lot behind it - maybe the same, or maybe more than working on a functioning structure.
Better or worse? There is no real answer to that. There is no wrong or right. There are only different human beings. Different profiles and perspectives. By the end, I am extremely happy to acknowledge my own profile, and to live this fully.
And, I am curious, in what profile do you see yourself in?
When you create a piece, you are not just creating a “piece of money”. A concept about your art, is also a reflex of who you are. And that's when you create a connection between the client and your piece.
We have built the idea that masks are negative distortions of who we are - or of who we show ourselves to be. But as a person who likes to see both sides of a coin before taking any sides, I learned to recognise that we all have dualities. And instead of letting ourselves be taken by them or using them in negative ways - and somehow losing our own essence in that process - I have learned to acknowledge and embrace these parts of me - and turn them into daily choices - and tools.