The first tarot card I drew this year was the same as the first card I drew last year: XIII - Death. Many see it as an ill omen, a foreboding warning to receive at any time. But I always interpret it, especially at the new year, as rebirth, clearing away the old to make room for the new. Maybe it's my strong connection to the phoenix, to the idea of rebirth, but death always leads to something new. When major arcana cards come up in a reading, they symbolize larger shifts are at work in your life. I've had a lot of major arcana coming up in my daily readings lately.
I wrote a post many months ago about the 16th and 17th cards of tarot's major arcana - The Tower, and The Star. The tower warns of impending change, often of a destructive or unwelcome nature. I said in that post that I already felt poised on the precipice of major change this year, and that was just in February. I was considering leaving some of my old jobs. I was considering leaving the country. Now it is mid-June, the eve of summer, and change has come for me, whether I like it or not. Two of my old jobs, places I have worked for four and six years, will be closing at the end of the summer, and a third is likely to have little work for me in the coming months. I will soon be very close to unemployed whether I like it or not.
I had forgotten that back in the dark days of winter, in the tumultuous weeks after my trip to Israel, that I was thinking of making big changes in my life. I got back into the routine of my day job and my night job, writing in free hours or on the occasional day off. I talked daily with my best friend about how much we missed Israel and how out of place we felt back in our regular lives, but it was still easy enough to walk through the years-old routine on the outside, even as tectonic shifts happened within. That is certainly the danger of a comfortable life, that in a routine we can become complacent. I have continued to push myself artistically in the months since that post, auditioning for plays, finishing my script, landing a gig. But I have continued to be safely housed in the familiar home of these jobs I've had for most of my adult life, almost all of the time since graduating.
This summer came with the prospect of change as I did not return to the New York Renaissance Faire this year, offering new freedom I've never had. In fact, this is their first weekend of camping for rehearsals, and I am comfortably holed up in an air-conditioned building all day, and will sleep in a real bed tonight. I'm focusing on the positive. But it seems now that the changes will keep coming as my familiar jobs disappear. An empty September yawns in front of me on my calendar. And so the free fall tumble of XVII - The Star comes sooner than expected. I don't know what life will look like, a couple months from now. I'm tempted, as ever, to drop everything and live abroad. I still miss Israel every day and think I'll end up there one day. Today I literally googled "how to move abroad" and "can I live in Berlin" among other queries. I also googled "how to find the perfect job," just as lofty an ambition.
I spent part of this morning looking for new work, laughing at the $9/hr postings I found for jobs in New York City, as if anyone can afford to work for $9 an hour. I recognize some people can't afford not to, but that's ridiculous. I suppose the one comfort is be the end of 2018 minimum wage in NYC will be $15 an hour. But honestly, being released from a multitude of hourly or shift pay jobs all at once seems like a sign that I shouldn't just settle into another one. There are some potential opportunities at box offices or other theatres where I could work, and maybe make comparable money to what I make now, doing similar jobs. However I think it's time to embrace the upcoming chaos, the unpredictable fall to an unknowable landing. Maybe this is the real shove to become a working artist, making my living as an actor or a playwright or a lighting designer. (Ideally all of those things.)
I started immediately looking for new jobs to fill the voids that will blossom as summer ends, but I'm tempted now, to let the ground remain far away for a while. I'm tempted to let this push/leap into underemployment be a gift. I will still have my nanny gig, and I'll be able to claim unemployment from the layoffs, leaving me unheard of amounts of time to audition, write, and collaborate with others. Times will be a bit lean, but I will be able to get by, especially if I work hard over the next couple months. It wouldn't be the first time I've made a fiscally questionably decision. (I can hear Suze Ormann yelling at me through the ether but I'm choosing not to listen, as I have so often done before.)
My last post was about doing scary things outside of my comfort zone. It would appear as though it's time to get uncomfortable. (Turn and face the strange.)