My job is editing sound for an awesome radio station. I work Saturdays so that's where I am right now. I'm also very hungover so this is happening.
I love my job. It's flexible enough to allow for family stuff (I have two kids, 5 and 7, in case ya haven't heard), and everyone here is awesome. CJSW is a non-profit and publicly funded station, and is a giant part of Western Canada's independent music and arts communities. I'm surrounded by a steady stream of astoundingly talented and inspiring people. Beyond that, because we're a community station, the people here are folks who give their time because they love music and art. We have only 6 paid staff, and over 300 volunteers. There's no ladder to climb and it's honestly probably the best job I'll ever have.
I find myself thinking a lot about how I got here, which isn't even anywhere, but it's a uniquely balanced and happy time for me. A quick summary of my life: I was raised Mormon and had an abusive father. We (my mom and six kids) left him when I was 11. My mom raised us on her own (while getting a degree and working full-time) for most of my teendom. After high school I studied pastry arts and worked as a pastry chef. I married erroneously at 22. I started art school. I divorced, left the church, and used the settlement to finish art school. I got pregnant. I married again. I became a mother. I experienced some success as an artist and a writer (some stuff from that time still comes up if you google "Sarah Adams-Bacon"). I started a gallery with some friends that's still running. I built a profile within the local community. I had another baby. I got another divorce. I decided to explore vulnerability (unsatisfied with the barrier of the white gallery wall), so I started volunteering at the local improv theatre. I wanted to feel the reactions to my creative output hit me in the face. I was angsty. I started performing. I started stand up. I was a single mom shamelessly getting her groove back.
I ran a cake business and performed comedy. I burned out on the business and worked for a puppet theatre company. I decided to focus on comedy, and started meeting and working with some of my comedy heroes. I was accepted to a 2-month experimental comedy residency in Banff, met more amazing people, and found more ways to meld my art background with my comedy. My creative output cycled between cakes, comedy, writing, and making art. It still does. I don't know how to do just one thing. I burn myself out constantly.
I got pretty severely depressed in 2013 and stopped doing things. I got a job at a comic book store and choked down $10/hr for a year. I couldn't afford food, I had to accept the kindness and charity of friends and strangers several times. I dealt with the resurfacing of my childhood and ignored requests to perform. I tried to draw and write. When I had the energy to perform, there was nowhere that fit what I wanted to do. The standup circuit in Calgary is not conducive to experimental anything, and I didn't have the energy to "start my own thing" as everyone continually suggested. I also had (and still have) zero patience for kissing the asses of local gatekeepers. I could seriously give a shit about their overly protected stages and the bullshit "politics" of trying to accommodate their desperately-staked territories. I also can't move to other cities, as I share my kids with their dad (who, incidentally, has become an amazing friend). On a whim I applied at the radio station, and got the job. I've been at it for 10 months.
My kids are in school and my mom lives here now, so I have more childcare back-up. I'm with a great guy who makes life feel easy. I perform when I want to, and have had a great year comedy-wise. I feel like I'm at the top of a hill in my life, or maybe a meadow. A clear view, in any case. I can see that I should be writing more and making more art. I'm hoping I'll stumble on some sort of sustainable focus. There are places I need to visit and people I need to meet. There's so damn much ahead and I need to be ready for it when it comes.
So there. Hi. Hope you like life stories.