For the past few weeks, a war's been fought between my mind and my heart. My mind leads the charge while my heart fights back. The conflict is taking it's toll on me. My heart races uncontrollably, I break out in cold sweats.
For awhile, I thought my symptoms were the side effect of statins recently prescribed. But after a conversation with my pharmacist, I've learned that my symptoms are not caused by the Crestor I've been taking for high cholesterol, but from anxiety. "What's going on in your life that's making you feel anxious?" she asked. I didn't mention my career situation.
Did I make the right decision, going from full-time to part-time employment, at almost half the salary? My heart says yes; It cheers me on, walks in courage. But my mind says, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.
My mind tells me that I'm going to lose my home. It says that I'll have to pull my son out of the private Christian school he loves, and where he excels. Says that my son will no longer be able to participate in the paid Karate lessons, another area where he excels. "The decision was all about you and what you wanted!" my mind screams. "But what about your family?" My mind is a coward, telling me that I've let my family down. That keeps me awake at night.
As a father, I teach my children to build their minds and then to "go with what you know." I warn them about following their hearts, that paths led by emotion — feelings — can be destructive. And here I am letting my heart take control of my destiny.
My illustration business has grown far beyond what I'd ever imagined when I began 20-plus years ago. My mind knows that. But my mind also knows that I just lost an opportunity to illustrate two popup books (heavy salary). In addition, the months of December through February are traditionally slow. My mind is afraid but my heart stands confident.
As far as my job at the paper, I will excel as a part-time graphics reporter in the condensed time that I spend there. I plan to produce more and better work than I ever did as a full-time employee. I have to, or else risk becoming an invisible Sunday-through-Tuesday guy, who does nothing more than clean up behind everyone else. That's not my style. I have so much to offer, and I'm so psyched after a recent visit from Graphics Editor extraordinaire, Charles Apple. That's the goal I've set for myself, and failing at goals is out of my character.
And I will excel as a part-time entrepreneur, illustrating for children's publishing. But the war continues between my mind and my heart, and I'm ready for a cease fire.