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The Nomad Gene

I think it’s possible that there are some of us out there that have a natural tendency towards nomadic behavior. It’s not that we have short attention spans or are afraid of hard work, it’s just that we have a certain unquenchable thirst for life and for new experiences. There are some people that are perfectly happy to go to work each day and do the tasks assigned to them day after day, year after year, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In fact, there are often days when I wish that I was able to do that without feeling like it was sucking my very soul from my being. Sometimes I think about all the things I need to do to draw in customers and get more business for the shop and it all just seems like way too much work. Wouldn’t it be easier to just go get a job somewhere, do my work, and go home and live the rest of my life without having to worry about whether or not I’d have clients the next day, or the next week, or if I’d be able to pay the bills?

In some ways, hell yah it would be easier. But in others, no, it absolutely wouldn’t be easier… FOR ME. It would be fine for a little while, while it was still new and exciting and something different. But as it always has, I’d get bored going to the same place and doing the same thing day after day. To a degree, tattooing is like that a bit, I go to my studio, use the same tools, and perform basically the same task. But to me it’s quite different.

If I was sitting there drawing on a piece of paper day after day, I’d lose interest and flitter off to the next thing that sounded interesting. But I’m not drawing on paper. Each and every one of my canvases is totally unique. They want different things for different reasons and their skin takes ink differently than anyone else’s does. Their pain tolerance and ability to sit still is different than anyone else’s and that makes each tattoo a unique experience.

Think of it like travelling. People that travel constantly and are forever exploring new places are, technically doing one thing over and over. They’re traveling. But it’s the different places and experiences that make it so exciting and addicting! Tattooing and writing is kind of like that for me. Yes, I would like to physically travel more but I’d also like to travel and tattoo and write about it.

The downside is that I don’t exactly get paid to write, not yet at least, and traveling costs me money while keeping me from being here where I could be making it. There’s no paid vacation when you’re your own boss, but on the other hand the only limit on vacation days is determined by how many days you can afford to not work.

Unfortunately, there’s also no guarantee that going into my studio will necessarily be a profitable experience on any given day. Tattooing is, unless you’re an artist in very high demand, a profession whose work load seems to come in waves. Around the holiday season and right afterwards, people don’t have a great deal of disposable income to spend getting tattoos. This means I don’t have much in the way of work.

In a month or two when tax returns start coming in, it’s a different story. I’ll likely be busier than the one-legged man in an ass kicking contest and the financial returns will be abundant. But after the tax returns are all spent, the business dies back down again for a while. Because of this I’ve been thinking of picking up a part time job to help make ends meet when times get slow. I’ve been looking at a few options, but each seems to have it’s draw backs.

Despite being 2018, some companies still enforce policies of not hiring anyone with visible tattoos. I can understand prohibiting tattoos that would be generally found to be offensive, but an outright ban on them all together? It’s illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their religious beliefs or the color of their skin….unless of course the color of their skin is something they chose and weren’t born with. It’s not ok for a company to refuse to hire someone for having black skin, but they can, however, refuse to hire me for ACTUALLY having BLACK skin.

But like I said, I’d totally get it if I had offensive tattoos visible, but if I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt the only visible tattoos I have are a black hand, a tattoo machine on the other hand, and the words HONEST and FAITHFUL across my fingers. Well, actually there are a few others you can kind of see on my hands (between fingers, on my left palm, etc) but you’d think employers would WANT someone that committed to being honest they’d proudly display it.

Another thing companies don’t seem to like is people that have a tendency not to stay in a particular job for too long. This one at least makes sense to me. Why would they want to invest time and money into training one person when they could do the same with another person and have a better chance the second person would stick around a bit longer before they had to go through the whole process all over again. With pretty much any job out there working for someone else, if they asked me in an interview where I saw myself in 5 years, I can almost guarantee my answer will be “not here.”

So between these things and the fact that I really do enjoy working for myself, why would I even consider getting a part time job? Well, that’s a simple one too. It’s because ya’ll aren’t comin’ in and letting me tattoo you enough!

Nah, it’s not your fault, it’s my own. I need to get better at the marketing side. I’m good at the tattooing and the massage/reflexology/energy work stuff, but putting myself out there in a marketing sort of way… not my strong point. I like to think that my work speaks for itself, and to a degree it does. Those I’ve tattooed are generally more than happy to show off my work and talk about how great the experience was. I guess there just aren’t enough of them out there spreading the word just yet.

Or maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that rather than sitting around all night trying to figure out how I’m going to get more people into the studio, or schedule more healing sessions, I’d rather sit here in front of the keyboard every single night and type away then lay down with a good book. Both are worth while pursuits but as of yet, aren’t payin’ the bills.

Honestly, if I could afford to hire a marketing whiz/personal assistant, and could find one that would put up with me, I’d be all for it. I’m sure if I could find someone to keep my schedule booked, there would be more than enough money to compensate them well for their time. My hourly rate isn’t exactly minimum wage and I really don’t have a great deal in the way of expenses that need to come out of it. There’s just not quite enough of it now to facilitate the hiring of such an individual.

Then again, there’s also that part of me that wants to be good at it all, that doesn’t want to have to ask for help from someone else because it means admitting there is something I’m not good at. Granted, it’s not a very big part of me, I’m generally more than happy to say “Yup, not my strong point, I’ll let you take care of that since you’re much better at it than me.” There’s just no one to say it to.

I know everyone falls into a bit of a little rut from time to time, but I don’t think that’s the case with this. I don’t feel like I’m just sitting around waiting for something to happen, I feel like I’ve got all the nudges in the world telling me exactly what I’m meant to be doing, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to make time for all of that AND make sure I’m dedicating the time necessary to tend to the fiscal needs of my life. If money was no concern and I could spend all day when I didn’t have clients writing poetry and working on my novel without giving income a second thought life would be grand. But alas, we all have bills to pay and right now, my means of doing so aren’t going as well as I’d like them to be.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on about this long enough. I’ll figure it all out when the time is right just as I always do. Something big and incredible is on the horizon for me, it’s just the anticipation and trying to figure out all the little details of how it’s going to happen that are driving me bat shit crazy. Sorry for subjecting you to my bizarre inner workings but thanks for reading and letting me vent a bit.