Trying To Make It

Jennifer Butler

Some of us know what we want to do in life right from the start and some of us figure it out later in life. I fall somewhere in the middle. Figuring out what I wanted to do right from the start but was afraid to admit it. For fear of being judged or laughed at because I wanted to work in the arts. It’s not an easy road that’s for sure but what career path takes the easy road. For my goals to be achieved It would take a lot of hard work. (Just like any profession) and success does not come easily or quickly for that matter. Never mind that it can be hard to make money in the arts field unless you make it “big.”

But what is success really? In today’s society it seems to be defined by money: Who makes the most money? Who has the biggest house? Who can buy the latest gadgets the day that they come out? But are they truly happy? If so that is great for them.

For me, whether you have money or not, happiness is more important. 

Growing up, I had the basic needs a roof over my head and food on the table. I didn’t have the fanciest of things but I had a family who cared for me. To this day I have those values instilled in me. I had to go to college, I had to get a good job to have money to live on and I did just that. I have a degree in psychology and education and right around college graduation I got my first job as a teacher. It wasn’t until my first year of teaching was coming to the end did I realize how unhappy I was. I was doing what I had to do for my family what we needed at the time but that didn’t make getting up and going to work any easier. I realized quickly that I couldn’t do it forever. I also knew in that moment that I wanted to get back into writing and that I wanted to work in/be involved in theater. 

It wasn’t until about a year ago when I discovered what my local community theater had to offer, did I discover what feeling happy felt like. When I made this discovery and I found out that with a lot of hard work and dedication. I could turn my passion into a career. Because happiness I feel is so much harder to find then money. I can always work a day job if I need to but I don’t think I would be as happy as if I stuck with the job that has consistent hours and kept on teaching because I felt like I had to. 

I don’t think I was happy back then or at least as happy as I am now working in Community Theater and getting to blog about it too. I may be completely poor but I am really happy and I feel as though I feel more successful now in this moment writing this blog post then when I was a teacher shortly after my college graduation. The financial struggle maybe present but I can guarantee that I would not have had it other way. 

Photo: Chance Theatre