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The irony of independent employment is that I've never felt more connected.

Updated: Aug 28

Even though I'm technically self-employed, "community-employed" is a much more accurate descriptor for my professional life. And self-employment continues to somehow simultaneously both trigger and heal my inner child.


Since launching Direct Motion Creative Collective in January 2023, I've been self-reliant for my sense of structure, discipline, and work performance in ways that I hadn't previously been in a long time. Gone are the days of managers giving me assignments and keeping me accountable to deadlines with regular communication throughout the workday. Now, it's up to me to keep myself on task and on track towards my and my clients' goals.

I've done the work that I'm most proud of this year - like rebranding my freelance practice and establishing Direct Motion as an LLC, expanding to include in person dance and exercise classes at the new Connect Community Center for Wellbeing, performing tap dancing comedy drag with Prismatic Events, choreographing pageant talent numbers, launching Direct Motion's TranscenDance program, designing t-shirts for Planned Parenthood, joining PROMO's LGBTQIA+ Leadership Cohort, hosting variety shows & tap dance workshops at The Crack Fox, and judging a drag pageant for the first time.

But to be able to do this community-driven work, I've also needed to rely on others in ways that I hadn't recently needed to - and never wanted to. Times are universally tough right now (to say the least), and it's challenging to build an independent creative career that supports and empowers the communities and causes that you care about AND make a stable living at the same time. It often feels impossible when you're also queer, trans, and traumatized trying to navigate existence in our current sociopolitical reality.

But by what feels like some ongoing miracle, I continue to be supported, uplifted, and cared for by the community I love as I pursue the creative work I'm most passionate about - facilitating spaces for community connection through shared creativity.

The irony of being self-employed for me is that "community-employed" would be a much more accurate description. And to say that I'm grateful to be community-employed would be the understatement of the year.


While all of the above is true, it's also the "PR version" of this blog post. In reality, the temptation to quit on my independent community-based creative career goals has been getting even louder than usual lately - probably related to how much my impostor syndrome and social anxiety have been acting up, thanks to a recent streak of financial hardship.

And so the theme of "self employment forcing me to heal my sh*t" continues. It's been feeling a bit "adapt or perish," but for my emotional landscape. Related: I've also been acutely aware that I'm in the throes of my Saturn Return and that we're in the chaos of multiple planetary retrogrades lately, including Chiron (the wounded healer).

The hard truth is that if I stopped doing promotion of my offerings for fear of being annoying, or if I didn't learn how to ask for and accept support out of fear of being a burden, I wouldn't be able to continue growing Direct Motion or the TranscenDance program (and ironically, I would become more of a burden than if I'd just reached out for help when I first needed it).

This year so far has very quickly taught me that to be able to healthily and successfully continue towards my career goals, I needed to release the shame surrounding asking for support that I'd been carrying for far too long. It's also taught me that it's safe for me to ask for help when I need it, and that I am supported by a web of community and chosen family who want to see me thrive.

It turns out doing work involving communal creativity also means devoting myself to my own healing. The irony isn't lost on me that to be able to thrive in my adult professional life, I need to prioritize listening to and meeting the needs of my inner child, too. Big Six of Cups energy.

This is one of the reasons I'm so grateful to be teaching online through Direct Motion and in person at Connect. In facilitating weekly group exercise and movement classes, I am regularly spending time where and with whom my inner child feels safe, and physically, creatively processing and expressing my emotions.

How's that for an unexpected job perk?


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