This started when I was a kid and I wanted to be a fiction writer, a painter, a choreographer, and a singer (and until I was 12 I wanted to be president). Now I want to write, share my communication skills, educate people on social justice, counsel people, make jewelry, do oracle card readings, do spiritual healing, photograph nature and portraits, organize, facilitate intimacy practices, help people be creative, help people learn to love their bodies, make magical items, make fractals, model, create a consent culture, etc. All of these things are very important to me, so I have invested time and energy in all of them, and I am very skilled at almost all of them. Ideally I would do them all for free and magically be able to live without having to ask for payment. I started a patreon but I feel like it is waaaaayyy too all over the place and I feel pretty overwhelmed at how badly organized it is and I also feel like -- am I really contributing enough to the world to deserve funding? and then I think, but I am only asking to live, surely I give enough to deserve that.
I just want to be able to live while I do these things. I don't need much, but I haven't been able to turn any of these things into something that will allow me to live. The world certainly doesn't reward effort for its own sake. Instead I have to waste my life doing things that are intrinsically worthless (though I can add meaning to them), which not only takes the time that I spend at a job, but also recovery time after, during which I cannot create and give. And I know having had the time to even realize this or do any of those things to the extent which I have is a rare gift and I am grateful. I wouldn't wish away any of my passions. I just wish I could 'make it.' Every time I try and fail I feel like I'm being told that nobody wants what I have to give and I should stop pretending it's important. I usually just avoid thinking about the many failures in my past, and remind myself that I know there are people who feel nourished by my art, my words, what I give. And I have a safety net, which is rare and a huge privilege.
I think the multiplicity of passion is partly a function of my ADD-PI, the part of it that I like, where my brain craves variety and wants to delve into everything with total abandon. For periods of time I can turn on the most determined patient focus you ever saw, and that is how I develop skill in the things I care about. I will be almost crying with frustration sometimes and yet I won't quit, because I just have to find the right way. Today I spent hours trying to figure out how to make new variations work in Apophysis 7x, not because I really needed them or because it would do me a lot of good but because I had started it and I wanted/needed to finish it.
On the other hand, I also spent almost two hours yesterday rating my interest in genres/films on netflix, which I really didn't want to do after the first hour but I just couldn't stop. People tell me to break tasks into small chunks but this just makes me laugh. Maybe that works for people with different brains. But me? If I want it to be done well, it has to be done in a period of hyperfocus, which I cannot get out of, not even when someone is getting angry at me for not stopping (and usually anger at me is a HUGE trigger that overwhelms everything else). I don't have a choice for 'normal focus' -- I get hyperfocus or distracted-diluted-brain, and I pretty much refuse to do anything important with that second kind because I would be incredibly upset to put the worst part of me into something important. And it takes a whole lot of energy stored up to begin hyperfocus, it can never last more than 18 hours, and then the thing I focused on is 'worn-out' in my brain and I have no idea how long it will take for me to have the energy to hyperfocus on it again.
The worst fuckin part is that my meaningless retail jobs require hyperfocus because distracted-diluted won't cut it. So then all I have left for myself is distracted-diluted-brain and I can do nothing important for at least 16 hours after work. Usually for a grand total of less than $40 a day.