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Let me preface this story by telling you that my friend, Olivia, is an incredibly talented makeup artist. The other day we were talking, and Olivia told me she was grappling with quitting her full-time job, to go freelance doing makeup.
Now, that's not uncommon in LA, a lot of people contemplate this decision. For obvious reasons, she was nervous to take that step. She even told me that, "the whole process is stressing [her] out." Which, in my opinion, it definitely should be, but in Olivia's case I wasn't sure why SHE was so nervous about the transition. I've seen her work, and I've seen her on sets. She would have no problem creating and maintaining this dream career for herself.
This whole conversation had me thinking, is there really ever a good time to quit your job to chase a dream? Life is complicated, rent is expensive (especially in Los Angeles), and at some point, we all need to eat and sustain ourselves. Leaving the stability of a regular paycheck is especially scary when you don't know where or when your income will be coming from next. A lot of us were taught as kids, after often seeing our parents struggle raising us, how important something "steady" was. Unfortunately, that's not always the reality, especially in Los Angeles. Often times too, even when we have something "steady" we're still struggling to get by.
This is a town full of dreamers working part-time until they "make it" in whatever perspective field they've chosen. I've watched friends quit their jobs only to couch surf for months, and borrow money from their parents until they had to go back to a position at a new part-time job, only to feel dejected and lost because they didn't "make it" in the time that put in. That being said, Olivia's position is a little different, she works full-time as a Parts Agent and makes good money doing it. So her nerves are especially valid.
I personally know how hard it is to have THAT conversation with your parents (and with yourself), where you deny that steady life and tell them you want to be an actor/musician/dancer/makeup artist. Here's the thing though, if all we're working for is a steady paycheck, where does dreaming about something more come in? We are a generation that want a fulfilling career in an economy that doesn't necessarily allow that for most of us. We just want to be the chosen few who "make it."
However, "making it" takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Working a part-time or full-time job and chasing that dream is incredibly difficult on top of working towards that dream.
So, yes, it is a big decision, and it is going to be scary, but I'm starting to believe that everything we take on is all about the mindset. Instead of thinking "if I do this, I'm going to be so poor," when we think that we're already setting ourselves up for failure. Instead, we should think, "yeah, maybe this is going to be hard, but I am a badass, and everything will fall into place because I am amazing at what I do and people WILL see that!"
The hardships are what make life worth living. So, when and if you ever think about quitting your job to follow your dream, don't hesitate.
Oh, and if you get the chance, check out Olivia's website and youtube channel to see the amazing things she does. I've gone ahead and linked it here. If you need a talented makeup artist, she's your girl.