Freedom (Week Eight and Nine)

I have had a busy couple of weeks.  Spending last weekend at meetings for basketball and then a short (but epic!) trip to Yosemite, I have been on the go go go.  So this week’s blog is combining together weeks 8 and 9.

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When I started this challenge a few months ago, the goal was to assign myself a budget and then stick to it…recording the struggles and the realities of trying to manage money during a time of slow income.  In all honesty, so many other things came up in lieu of my financial situation, although always related in some way.

And it wasn’t any different this last couple of weeks.  I have definitely overspent in the last month or so.  Not anything unnecessary or extravagant but I did purchase my flight for a trip to Iceland and had to spend some money on things for the home, as well as a trip to Philly!  With the details unimportant, I found myself thinking that it was time to find employment if I wanted to continue to play.

So, with my shiny new massage license, I applied for two jobs.  One was at a typical “Massage Envy” type spa and the other was for a new company called Soothe.  If you haven’t heard of it, Soothe is essentially “Uber” for massage.  You log on to an app and pick a time for a therapist to come to you, whether at your home or hotel.  It is really brilliant for folks that travel a ton or need some flexibility when scheduling a massage.  For a therapist, this means I only work when I am free.  I log on to the app and then accept appointments as they arise.

Each job has benefits.  A spa offers consistency.  Somewhere to go each day.  Everything set up, lotions, linens, etc.  No laundry and a steady stream of clientele.  A company like Soothe offers flexibility and a higher pay scale.  But the therapist is responsible for getting to a different location each time, transporting a table, as well as the overhead of laundry, gas and mileage.

So I interviewed at the spa first.  I went in last Wednesday and talked with the assistant manager and then gave her a 30 minute massage.  The manager called Thursday as I was driving up to Yosemite with my mom and offered me the job.  Instinctually I felt I should accept the offer immediately, simply out of fear and scarcity.  A ton of things came up in my head, “What if I never got another offer?” “I should take the job, there might be someone waiting to swoop it up.” “I need money, I should start right away.”  All reactions based in a mindset of LACK OF and NOT ENOUGH.   A small (very very tiny) voice in the back of my head whispered “This doesn’t feel good…this isn’t what we want.”  But my fear screamed back “BUT WE NEED A JOB!”  Having my mom in the car with me helped give me the courage to ask the manager to give me the weekend to accept the offer since I was traveling.  She was gracious and said to get back to her on Monday.

And so I started ping ponging back and forth…

I should get the job.  I need the money.  I should have structure.  They will train me in hot stone massage.  I will gain experience.  Yada yada yada.

And that little voice kept whispering, “but but but – that doesn’t feel good.”

I continued to go back to one of the main reasons I wanted to become a massage therapist – freedom.  I wanted the freedom to live the life that was important to me.  To be able to experience all the opportunities that became available to me.  To embrace impulsiveness.  I could not honor those things if I moved having a job to the top of the list.  I needed another solution.

So I applied at Soothe and while I was in the car I set up an interview for Monday morning.  And then I was able to let go of expectations and decisions and dove into the moment.  A moment that consisted of a 3:00am wake up call to start hiking to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite.  A 5,000 ft gain in elevation and 22 miles round trip (don’t forget the 400 ft of cables up the steep side of the massive rock) I didn’t have time or energy to be anything but in the moment.  I’ll be totally honest – it was one of the scariest things I have ever attempted. We spent 16 hours hiking; arriving and departing the trailhead in the dark.  But so absolutely worth it.

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So after such an amazing weekend I was feeling even more torn about accepting the position at the spa.  Could I give experiences up for stability?

Forward to my interview with Soothe.  In theory, ideal for my situation.  Accept massages only when I am available.  Higher pay rate.  Flexibility galore.  Sold.  I was offered and accepted the position with Soothe and then graciously declined the previous job offer from the spa.  And I pranced home with my new employment thinking that the offers were going to be rolling in!

Ehem.  Not quite.

While I have been sitting here, typing and doing some computer work, my phone has dinged 5 times with massage offers.  And all 5 times the massage was swooped up by another therapist before I could even pick up my phone.  This is clearly going to be ruthless.  And I may need to shift my expectations.  So we will see.  I am going to give it my best shot for at least a month and then reevaluate.

Meanwhile, if any of you cyber babes are needing some bodywork, feel free to reach out.  I am booking sessions either in my home studio or I can come to you.  Look for the “On the Table Offerings” to the left of this column and shoot me an email, we can set something up!

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