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  • Writer's pictureEmily Rigz

Happy 2019! Creating Balance Somehow

Independent musician Blue Mountains NSW

So I’ve done everything in my life kind of around the wrong way, and then improvised and shifted things to make it all sort of work…in a crazy, sometimes chaotic kind of way, I’ve made it work.

I got married, then decided who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. That makes it sound like I had an affair, which I definitely didn’t, I just found the one for me after my ex and I broke up. I had kids and then started thinking about what career I wanted to have. I bought a house and then decided where I wanted to live (which was conveniently not where the house was). All these "major milestones" in life...and I’ve pretty much just been winging it.

I read in an article today that the most desirable age bracket for target marketing is under 30’s.

This is because people in this age group are usually stable in their careers. They have the most money to spend because they are working towards big goals like buying the house and car and getting married and having kids, all the things that cost money.

I just felt so alienated reading this article! I’ve just turned 30 (well in November last year, but I’m spending the year celebrating so it’s kind of still news…) and I’m like “what the actual? Are most people my age secure in their careers, knowing exactly what they want from their work life???”.

I’m sharing this because I’m wondering if there are many other people who can relate to how I feel. I recently had a catch up with some of my dearest friends who are in their 50’s and they were pretty much expressing the same stuff as me around their work life.

So this has all made me wonder how many other adults feel like they still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

The thing is that the more life you have under your belt, often the more you have to consider when thinking about what you want to do for work. So for myself the major factor is my two kids. Once you have kids it’s significantly more difficult to pursue a career, I believe this is especially so if you are a musician. There are a billion reasons for this.

For one, I refuse to not be around for them. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I hide in my room with a bottle of wine and my guitar and lock the door and tell them to ask Neil all their questions…but I’m not prepared to never see them because I’m gigging every night and giving them to a baby sitter as soon as they get home from school so I can go to work.

So as a result I work within my means. I gig when I can, I don’t go away on long tours at the moment, I make myself stop so that I can be present with them.

The other thing to mention is money. I have always made sure my kids have a backyard, which means living in a house, which means expensive rent/ mortgage and bills. I don’t have the option to live in a caravan and eat next to nothing and live off what I can make busking and gigging. That kind of lifestyle is the easier option for me because there is less responsibility and much more freedom.

When I’m feeling really rubbish and thinking the grass is greener I think about how I wish I could just be a vagabond, travel from town to town, busk, meet people, live off my gig money and sleep in my car…for me this is the easier option by far!

Instead I have to make sure I can afford proper food and housing, pay bills and buy my babies the things they need and this means I need to have some sort of employment.

Maybe there’s another way but I haven’t figured it out.

So after 30 years of crazy town and somehow, miraculously, landing on my feet, I’m like “shit, I have to spend a lot of my time working…what the fuck should I do?”. Because I want to do something I love if I have to spend this much time doing it, and I want to be good at what I’m doing!

The next chapter of this “what the fuck should I be when I grow up” journey was the epic rediscovery that I wanted to work as a musician. This is still the plan, I just discovered that I didn’t want to play covers every Friday and Saturday night at the pub to fund my original music, because I didn’t want to be away from my fambam every weekend and honestly my heart just isn’t in cover music at the moment.

So I decided to focus on my original music and find a way to fund it.

News flash: it’s really hard to work full time, study part time, raise two young kids and still find the fucks to give about staying up all night to push your music forward.

I feel sometimes like I’m going nuts, going in circles between ideas to fund my music by doing something I love that doesn’t take me almost permanently away from my kids.

For example, I’d love to commute to Sydney to study and work. I could get work in Sydney CBD, but I probably couldn’t get home by 6 to get my kids from after school care 5 days a week…then top that off with gigging every weekend and hey presto! Where the fuck is mum? Do we even have one?

And no, it’s not really an option for us to move into the heart of Sydney.

And yes, all the jobs going I would like to apply for are in Sydney CBD.

So, back to the drawing board. Enter 2019!

This year I’ll be a little bit more broke because I’m taking on a little bit less ‘side hustle’ work. My plan is to release a new album that’s been in the making for about 6 months. I have a nice little part time job that I actually really like but struggle to get by on. I’ve got a feeling (and my feelings always seem to prove accurate somehow) that a new path will present itself this year which will be good.

Neil and I have been working our butts off because we are buying a house and building a studio in it. I’ve not spent so much time working my music so I could work my little job, sell my little beach house and buy our new studio house. It’s been worth it, but I’m also going to go totally mental if I can’t start gigging and recording pretty soon.

So stay with me! If you (still) don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, I totally get it! Sometimes you have to work around a bunch of stuff to make this crazy ‘work life’ thing actually work.

And at the end of the day, if this is your biggest problem in life you need to just sit back and have a cocktail because you’re one of the luckiest people alive!

Love you all! Thanks for reading xxx

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