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Terminated

(for some reason my brain wants to go “pew pew!!!“)

I’ve been “in crunch time” for my current composition project for a couple weeks now. During Thanksgiving week I accepted 3 articles for the entrepreneurial project (EP) and ended up spending Mon-Wed writing them instead of composing. Then I spent 3 days straight with family – and when I wasn’t with family I was too exhausted to do anything. I didn’t fully explain all of this to the Editor in Chief (EiC), etc. when I said I couldn’t take a 4th article – twice – but I kinda feel like I shouldn’t’ve had to.

What I did do was talk to my friend / the CEO, who told me to talk to the EiC, who proceeded to ignore the message I sent her saying I couldn’t write 3 articles about frankly stupid topics every week because I need to focus on composing. (All unpaid, by the way. If this were a paid gig I would’ve handled it differently.) Last week I flat-out said “no.” This week I accepted the articles but realized I wouldn’t be able to meet the deadlines, so I said “I’m sorry I can’t do these.” Well to be honest I think I should’ve also resigned at that point in time but I dunno, I’ve been feeling ambivalent about this for months now…

They made the decision for me. In the form of an email notifying me I’d been “terminated.” No explanation, and there was certainly no discussion – at least not with me. I was upset for a while, but then I told a friend who was like “wait a minute: you were terminated from a volunteer position that wasn’t even what you wanted to do?” I laughed. And I will be laughing still, in the end… except that something about it is still bothering me.

I mean I made the choice: I decided that composing is more important to me than the EP. I never wanted the position I ended up in, I felt like my concerns and ideas were being ignored, I was stressed out, I dreaded the assignments every Monday, and I never felt like I fit in the work environment – which is a Facebook chat, by the way, how very professional. And yet they terminated me, instead of me officially walking away… I think that’s what it is. I’ve never been fired before, and I’m kinda wishing I’d been more assertive. “Fine if you’re gonna treat me like this I’m out” instead of “la di da wait what? I’m out? … okay…” Which again is totally on me… I guess it’s a learning experience.

I also decided not to hold it against my friend / the CEO even though he totally made the decision to fire me and had the HR person email me without talking to me about it first. Though in my experience deciding to forgive someone and actually forgiving them are two very different things, and I think that’s what’s happening now. I am – whether it’s rational or not – angry about this. My rational decision to “just let it go” doesn’t seem to be affecting my emotional response. And I want to compose, but (today at least) I can’t focus on it. I think part of it is because where I am in the piece is less certain – I’m actually orchestrating and this section isn’t as fleshed out as everything that came before it – but I also think it’s because of the things I haven’t let go of:

I was supposed to be a partner. I wanted to have some say in the stuff that got written – or at least the stuff I ended up writing. The EiC even paid lip service to having the journalists write stuff that’s fun and interesting, then kept turning around and assigning boring topics that frankly our – well, I guess their – competitors already covered the previous week. (Too many articles for me to be able to also find and write about things I actually found interesting.)

All the other stuff that was talked about that made me want to be part of this project in the first place is being done by other folks, and yeah I could’ve gone to the office to talk about getting involved in it but then I would’ve had to pay for parking. So I would’ve been making negative money. Because again none of us have been getting paid. And as far as I’m aware the CEO hasn’t given everyone an update regarding the company’s financial situation / ability to pay yet, but based on our private conversations, well… Let’s just say I’m still fairly certain he’s the type of person who, if the money were available, would prioritize paying his employees…

Part of me is thinking that maybe the financial situation has changed and he wanted to get rid of me before he’d have to pay me. But that’s probably taking things a bit too far. And it’s not exactly something I can act on – right? I dunno. I’d rather say it’s irrational or a bit of that “normal paranoia” pretty much everyone has or… :sigh: whatever. I guess it’s one of the things I need to let go of. Whether the EP becomes profitable or not, it’s turned out to be a bust for me. And that sucks.

At least I never invested capital.

And at least I know where I’m going from here. I have my current composition project. I have deadlines I need to work my ass off to meet. I find it challenging and satisfying and fun and engaging and like I said I wake up wanting to do it, I have to tear myself away from it to do things like eat, and even when I feel like smashing my head against the keyboard I know the frustration will pay off; all I have to do is listen to what I have so far and I feel better about it! Everyone tells me my face lights up and I seem so much happier when I talk about it… I certainly feel good!

And I have a plan for the coming year: I need post this thing by next week. This coming semester I’ll take a theory class start composition lessons, which can hopefully continue over the summer. Then I’ll reapply for the graduate program – in June if I’m feeling really good about it, but more likely in October – and hopefully start officially studying composition in earnest next Spring (2020). In the meantime I’ll build my portfolio (I already have ideas for a couple different projects, and plenty more will come once I’m taking lessons) create a professional web presence (Fox and his mom can help me with the website) and look out for other possibilities. Thought occurs I might even be able to find a paid gig(s) and/or enter composition contests… honestly I have no idea what’s out there, or where any of this may lead…

(And as terrifying as I think that at least should be, I gotta be honest it’s really exciting!!!)

I just find it interesting that this literally started with a dream. And I’m grateful that I have the support and stability (and courage) to be able to do it… I also find it interesting that every time I’ve written about the EP I’ve then compared it to composing, and composing has won. My subconscious has been telling me this whole time that I need to be a composer, and, well, this is it. Congratulations subconscious, you’ve won. No more distractions or doing something else because it seems safer or what have you. I am truly all-in.

Now for the love of everything please give me the music when I’m trying to compose instead of waiting until I’ve decided to focus on something else…   😛

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