Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dreaming, Working, and Failing

Today I'm watching the March 7, 2011 episode of Q and A.  It's about women and men in the workplace—gender inequality.

It brings up a lot of my own personal issues.

I don't have a job. I'm very fine with that. I like my free time.

I wouldn't mind selling a novel or something.

That would be nice.

Or I'd love to take one of my crazy fun ideas and turn it into a money-making scheme.

About seven years ago, I was really into videography and editing.  Most members of the family were impressed, and my parents hired me to do my sister's wedding video. That was fun, but a lot of hard work....especially since I was taking care of a high-need three-year-old.

One time, a few months after the wedding, I was at the mall with Tim and Jack.  Jack was playing on the playground.  Tim and I had time alone to talk.  I brought up the idea of MAYBE pursuing a career in video-making.  Maybe I could film and edit birthday parties. Maybe I could do weddings. It might be fun.  It might bring in some money. At that point, though, I would probably need Tim to do some time as a stay-at-home dad.      

I remember Tim not being very enthusiastic about the idea.

He didn't say no.

He did his usual yes/maybe..BUT. He pointed out all the problems.

We'd be putting ourselves in a very insecure position if he didn't have his corporate job.

What about health insurance?

It was not a no.

It was not a yes.

It was a very agitated maybe.

Less than two years later, Tim resigned from his corporate job and since then has pursued various ideas and opportunities.

I feel resentful that he did this for himself, but he couldn't do it for me.

At the beginning of the adventure, I quietly suggested that I could try to sell one of my novels. I suppose I had lost interest in the videography by then?  I don't know.  Maybe something else besides Tim had scared me off.

Anyway, Tim responded by saying. OR we could try to win the lottery. 

I took that as an insult, intended or not. My feelings were hurt.

I worked on the novel despite Tim's lack of enthusiasm for it.

Or maybe I worked on the novel BECAUSE of Tim's lack of enthusiasm.

Maybe I wanted to prove him wrong.

He didn't play the part of the fan-husband, but he did step up to the plate when needed.

He took requested photographs of NYC for me.  I wanted to have a visual for my setting. I guess they didn't have Google Map Street View back then.

So that was nice of him.

And in the end, he won.

I didn't prove him wrong.

I didn't get my novel published.

I haven't made any money on it.

I quit after a few months of emailing publishers and agents.

Later I put it online.

And even when offered as a free book, people don't seem to want to read it.

So maybe there's merit in Tim's doubting of me.

Still.

I get so jealous when I read of writers and other artists who have huge amounts of support from their partners and family.

I like to have the freedom to give up. But I also like the idea of someone fighting me on it.

In the end, of course it's up to me. I decide to quit and when not to quit.

What if someone pushed me not to quit, though?

It might not have led to success. But I think it would have made me feel better.

It brings me back to the videography subject.

I'm no longer interested in doing a lot of it.  Only once in a while, do I get the urge.  But I do like when my family says nice things about my videos or expresses interest in me going back to it.

I don't blame anyone for my lack of success.

If I'm a in blue mood, I blame it on a lack of talent.

If I'm in a philosophical mood, I see it as bad luck.

It's more a matter of wishing I was treated differently.

I find it sad that the main reason I want success is so I can hold it up to certain people in my life and say Ha. I'm better than you thought.  I DO have talent.  I am worth something.  

And...well, the money would be nice. Of course.  

I'm not sure if any of this is about gender.

Tim has stood behind and strongly supported some of his sister's ideas. She's a girl.

He works with women, both in his corporate life and post-corporate life.

He doesn't seem very sexist.

It could just be about me then.  

Okay.

I am a failure.

But Tim has failed at things.

His sister has failed at things.

We all fail sometimes.

But we all deserve to have someone supporting us, whether we're in the process of dreaming, planning, doing, succeeding, or failing.  

Anyway....back to the TV program.

I've gotten off track here.

So.....

People need equal pay and equal opportunities.

There might need to be quotas.

But there also needs to be support.

As Kate Ellis said on the program.

and I think talking about other issues, when you say is it that women don't want to be putting themselves forward, well, I don't think that that's it but there is the case that women are still taking care of 70 per cent of unpaid work and caring responsibilities and we can't just focus on one without the other. We can't say we want women doing more work, advancing in the workplace, without saying while we need men to also step up when it comes to unpaid work and a lot of men want to be doing more caring.

Men or women.  Both need to step up to the plate for their partners. This may involve doing more childcare work or more housework.  Or it might mean allowing the partner to take risks.   It might be about giving someone the message.  Hey, I'm willing to make a sacrifice for you to do this.  We're all going to have to make a sacrifice.   It will be great if it works out.   If it doesn't....we'll try something else.  

2 comments:

FruitCake said...

I'm not dismissing your wish that you'd had some support and encouragement. But sometimes the problem - for me at least - is the way I personally define 'success'.

It would be fair to say that while it would be nice to make some money from writing the reality is that not a lot of people manage to do that. Being published is no measure of 'success' in other terms. Plenty of books end up being remaindered or pulped. Plenty of books that are best sellers strike me as unreadable or over-rated. Plenty of books are formulaic and knocked up by ghost writers.

As someone who never ever finishes anything [a combination of fear of failure and bone idle laziness] I would judge you a huge success just because you set out to do something and did it. Lots of people believe that everyone has one good book in them, but few 'step up to the plate'.

As much as it would be nice to have equal support or whatever from the people around you, your life is about you - the measure of your life is what you cooked up with the ingredients you have.

Jack doesn't need editing, does he?

Dina said...

Fruitcake,

Thank you.

I agree about defining success.

I also think getting a book published doesn't necessarily mean you're successful. A lot of books get published; then they go out of print.

I guess for me though....I would define a successful novelist as someone who has been published and makes a living off of their books.

I can say I've succeeded in writing and finishing a novel. That's something. I won't deny it. But to me, it's not enough to feel successful.

I do though feel like a successful blogger. I think we both are. My definition for that is someone who keeps up their blog on a regular basis and has at least 2-3 people reading on a regular basis.

There are super successful bloggers. But as I'm not often interested in reading those blogs; I'm also not interested in having one.

As for you not finishing things. This reminds me of Jack. I'm doubtful he has a fear of failure. There might be some laziness. But I think his main thing is wanting to jump to something new. The love for the new replaces his interest in the old.

He makes grand plans; then the next day he has a new grand plan.

But you're too hard on yourself. And I'm too hard on Jack...in that regards.

You've had your blog for several months. You didn't quit.

I'm sure there are other examples, but that's the one I'm most familiar with.

Every so often Jack sticks with a long term project.

Oh, and I thought of another example for you. You've been in a relationship for a long time. I forgot how long. But that shows a lot of perseverance.

I have no idea what you mean by Jack needing editing. But he does (if you meant it in the literal sense). I encourage him to proofread more.