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I’ve had a BIG rethink since my last blog post on this topic and I have now given up having a day job at all (which was temping).
My reasons for doing so were numerous – but the main point is this: life is short, so I vow to spend my time doing things I value and try to make a positive difference while I am here. No more dictating for dinosaurs, no more being told I need to wear high heels to answer a telephone effectively, no more being the anonymous one in an office where no one cares what your life is outside of these four oppressive walls.
So, how am I finding it, you might ask?
Well – to begin with – scary. But with a definite smugness that I have finally stopped selling out and destroying my soul. (Also – I’m 33 now. There was a decent chance that if one more middle-aged man told me I was a ‘good girl’ I might turn into the good girl gone bad (like the Rihanna song) and punch his lights out.)
Exhilarating. It is a great privilege to only do what you believe in. To be able to work in an environment where people want you to say what you really think. To want to work hard. Since I made the decision, I have been constantly landing the jobs I actually want to do. This month sees me making a scratch performance about maternal influences, doing a voice over about agriculture for a French documentary and workshopping a new version of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Last month saw me direct The Tempest for the most amazing autistic school, while performing in The Scar Test at Soho Theatre.
Less stable for sure, but richer in soul (and in pocket). Temping is not the best paid work out there. Now I am not dashing to an audition in between an office job and babysitting, I am getting a much higher ‘hit’ rate and landing the jobs. I am also getting a lot more sleep which may be a contributing factor!
I feel healthier and have the space to think about my choices outside of work. A few months ago, I lost the ability to cook. I would either burn the food or burn myself and it all tasted disgusting. I had always prided myself on being pretty good in the kitchen and that skill left me overnight, as did the skill of learning lines, and a plethora of other things. A wise woman told me I needed to cook with love. Now I take 15 minutes in each day to cook a new recipe for myself and others – this could be my housemates, or visiting friends or family. I’ve been doing this for a few days now and am proud to say the food tastes nice, there are no burns injuries, and my ‘guinea pigs’ have liked their meals. I am also ensuring I exercise between half an hour and two hours a day, something that, again, was trickier to do rushing from one day job to the next as none of them were well paid enough to just work five days a week. I also plan to start doing ‘Wellness Wednesdays’, inspired by my incredible best friend – doing one thing each Wednesday that makes me feel good. It could be a yoga class, it could be watching a show, it could be as simple as meeting a friend for a walk.
This next statement might sound selfish from the outset: and it is. But if you can do this, you will have the energy and happiness to also improve the lives around you:
DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
The money for this blog has been donated to St Christopher’s Hospice.
Nadia works as an actress. She also teaches acting and storytelling to adults at City Academy and is an associate for National Youth Theatre, directing young people and leading inclusivity training.