I'm thinking of getting a divorce.
This will come as a huge surprise to most of my closest friends.
Not least because I have never been married.
My boyfriend was pretty shocked too when I told him.
I am of course, not talking about a physical relationship. I'm talking about my career.
I met my career in 2008. It took us ages to get together - we didn't really make it official until 2010. I wasn't sure what I wanted, and my career had a bit of a reputation. But eventually I couldn't hold out anymore. And we tried to make a go of it.
And, like any long term relationship, we've had our ups and our downs. I feel like I've put a lot of myself into it. I've prioritised this relationship over my family. Over my own health sometimes.
And now, nearly ten years since I met my career, here I am.
Still in love. But largely... miserable.
My career is the kind of boyfriend who treats you like shit for just the right amount of time. Just when I'm starting to think that my career really is an outright prick, it turns up at my door with some interest from a TV company or a good review in a national paper.
And for a moment I think "See! I knew he loved me."
But then it's gone. The momentary warm hug of hope has flitted off into the night. It was just enough to make me fall in love with my career again. But not enough to get any actual meaningful fulfilment.
And so it has continued.
I have moved forward. Of course I have. I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't have been banging my head on the brick wall of life if my career was Ryan Gosling. My career knows who I am. More or less. My career is Antony Costa.
Not that I've ever met Antony Costa. But you get my point.
But you know what? I'm not in my twenties anymore. I'm getting tired. I want to be in a relationship with a career that values me. That wants me. That gives me something back. I deserve that.
So maybe it's time for a divorce.
And I've been seeing this other career on and off anyway. And that career thinks I'm great. It keeps asking me for more commitment. It wants to give me cool stuff. Like money. And security.
But here's the problem.
I've loved my current career for so long. It's become who I am. I define myself by it, I don't know what my future looks like without it. I can't even imagine life without it. I don't really know what the point of me is if I'm not this.
And I've got friends who tell me that I deserve better than this. They want to see me happy and valued.
But they don't understand. They don't understand that when we're together, when things are good, nothing, just nothing can beat being with my career. It makes me feel powerful, validated, on top of the world.
And I'm not ready to give up on that just yet.
This other career is nice. It's normal. It's dependable. It's the kind of career that gets a bit of respect and people are pleased for you when you tell them that you're with it.
But I don't and I will never love it.
I feel a bit sad and anxious when I picture my future with it.
And no career deserves that. Surely?
Or maybe I've just stretched this metaphor as far as it can possibly go?
None the less, prepare for it to be stretched even further...
I've decided to have an open relationship with my career. I'm going to start dating a few others. Just to see what's out there. And some of those careers are very similar to the one I've got now. They're like his brothers. Which is creepy. But cool. Because they're jobs and not actual people.
The point here is that I've realised that it isn't worth spending your life being sad and not doing your job.
Creative careers are hard. Not just hard work (they're that, sure) but hard on the mind. They are filled with rejections, nepotism and good old fashioned bullshit. Because art is so subjective, you can find that even though your brand of art might be excellent, if it's not what people are after at that moment in time, it gets swept away in the sea of everyone else's stuff. Or maybe someone else got there first. Or maybe someone else is just a little bit better than you. Or knows the director's uncle.
And it's not just creative careers. Your vocation can treat you like a side chick in any walk of life.
Keep plugging away if it's in your soul, but date other jobs too.
Maybe I'll find my true love somewhere unexpected.
And maybe that true love will finally pay my rent.
Or maybe my current career will realise my value and we'll live happily ever after.
Ok. End of metaphor.