What lights me up?

I recently told a friend, “I don’t know if the lightbulb had come on yet.” And truthfully, I’m still not 100% certain. I’ve had a hand in so many things over the years. Some of them aren’t necessarily profitable or viable careers, but fun? Heck yeah!

Let me provide examples. All through high school and some of college, I did theatre. The stage was my life. I was building sets, designing lights, and memorizing lines. But, all of the older, wiser folks in my life convinced me “there’s no money in that.”

While I was in high school, I helped with various sports as an assistant coach/manager. I also did video work and photography. At one point I was even the guy in the mascot costume. And I carried the camera work all the way through college. I still love taking pics and making videos.

I’ll admit, I’m not much of an athlete. Yes, old , broken paradigm, I know. But I used to ride a 10 speed bike everywhere. I didn’t get a driver’s license until my 21st birthday. I grew up in Iowa, a state where towns are pretty spaced apart, but most small towns can be traversed by pedal power in 20 minutes or less. I know bicycling a little bit.

I was around for the early, early days of the Internet. I’ve always been fascinated with the world wide web. That’s something I still dabble in now.

I shadowed a reporter in 7th grade. (I don’t remember what grade exactly.) I thought newspaper work was cool. I learned newspaper work before we had computer aided layout. Line tape, straight edge, Exacto knives, and lots of glue. It seems primitive now. But master the old, hard basics and the new stuff is easy. Same with theatre lighting.

I loved art in school. I mixed a hobby- role playing games- with art in the form of miniatures wargaming. I love painting minis. I love sculpture period, regardless of size. I love paintings, too. Abstract is mutt favorite, but I can appreciate just about anything.

I mentioned role playing games. That’s how I became a sociology major, actually. I love small group interactions. I love talking to people one-on-one. Everyone has a story. As a side note, I always admired that about my dad, too. I love a good story.

I love crafting stories either with my fellow game “nerds” or by myself. Although gaming with friends gives me a better excuse to eat mad snax and roll lots of dice. There’s also mandatory hours of joking around after.

So, what is all this? I’m going through a period of deep self exploration. I’m learning to understand, accept, and love myself. My love of all things paranormal, especially UFO’s and ETs led to my spiritual awakening and revived my love of meditation and universal peace. Ultimately, it led to Laura Dibenedetto’s 90 Day Habit Mastery Program.

This isn’t another shameless plug, but rather where I’m at right now. Things are coming up for clearing that I had imagined were long gone. With all the painful past memories, I’ve also remembered old passions. I used to be kind of a renaissance man.

So, I’ve been doing a great deal of introspection and soul searching as part of the 90 Day Habit Mastery Program. Was I born to tell gasoline truck drivers where to go all night? Abso-friggin-lutely not! Do you think there’s joy in that? Again, abso-smurfly not!

Here’s the dilemma. I have a family to provide for. Now I’m thinking, “hmm. Maybe my dear ol’ Dad was right.” Maybe I should leave all the childish things behind and get a grindy, boring, monotonous job that just wears my soul down hour by hour, day by day, month after trudgerous month, year after unfulfilling year until I retire or die. Sounds great, right? My entire worth is in my paycheck.

Oh no. Lack mentality kicks in. What do I do without that check? What do I do if I get canned? Why can’t I up and quit without something else lined up? What would become of me?

Okay, I’m not totally daft. They’re called “loved ones” for a reason. It’s not lack, fellow lightworkers. It’s safe. Maybe too safe, keeping the old, monotonous grind job. But, if LoA is as awesome as all the gurus say, I can stay put AND still attract better. Right? Well, we’ll see. Money *does* light me up, technically.

I mean, think about it. Turn me loose with a large budget. See what happens. Bills get paid. Sounds rudimentary, but think about it- some of those bills have living people with families on the other end. Sweet! Helped then out today.

Money is a good thing! Damn right I’m excited! Theatre- productions need backing. And facilities, lights, set, and props aren’t free. Bicycles cost money. Minis? Paint? No budget concerns? Woohoo! Books. Omg books and books… Yeah. Money is cool.

So what lights me up most? Ya know. I’m still not sure. I’m looking around right now. I’m digging deep. (Thanks @lauraldibenedetto.) And I’ll let you know. If anyone has any suggestions, please send me a message. I have a long list of “no’s,” but you might be surprised what gets a “yes.”

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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