Be honest, how often do you wonder if the only way to pay the bills is to focus on one thing, and one thing only? As a creative multipotatialite, society almost instills in us. But my guest today is here with me to help you understand why that thought is simply a conditioned myth! Please welcome Veronica Chordas from Wonderlust Custom Design.
We discuss the value of pursuing multiple passions and challenging the traditional notion of specialization through one talent. Creativity, personal growth, and spirituality have been the true focus shaping our lives.
You will really enjoy our experiences and perspectives on balancing creative expression with financial responsibility, no matter what you choose to pursue. Follow your passion while being mindful of practical realities. Embrace your True Nature, and you will discover how to easily adapt to different phases of life, just like plants do.
Veronica Chordas is a Brand Creator and Web Designer. Her passions–art, music, yoga, astrology, and spirituality–flow through all she does. The long and winding road of my life as an artist, musician and seeker has led me back to my truest path as a brand creator. She uses her skills and talents to promote other creatives and practitioners of the healing arts. As a student of life, she takes on each new endeavor with enthusiasm and excitement for what she will learn from each experience.
Topics Covered about how to the bills
- Follow your heart, and you will be taken care of
- Odd jobs teach you skills you use build on to your passions
- How to deal with the worry about money and how to pay the bills
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TRANSCRIPT OF PASSIONS DON’T PAY THE BILLS
Welcome to ReConnect with Plant Wisdom. I am your host, Tigrilla Gardenia, Nature-Inspired Mentor and Leadership Coach. In this podcast, I share ancient and modern knowledge, from biology to spirituality, about the wondrous ways plants can help you lead a Naturally Conscious Life.
Hello everyone welcome back to another episode of reconnect with plant wisdom. This is me Tigrilla Gardenia. I am oh I know I use the word excited a lot but that’s what I get. I get excited I get happy I get all like dancy because today we are going to be talking to Veronica Chordas, one of my amazing clients and collaborators. She is a branding specialist and a designer and she is a website designer of Wanderlust custom design. And we are talking about an extremely important topic because it’s a topic that well you’ll hear it at the very beginning. It’s one of those that really frustrates the hell out of me when I hear which is people especially multi potential lights with so many amazing creative talents who tell me passions, don’t pay the bills. Yeah, well, we’re gonna dispel that myth today.
Passions, most definitely pay the bills. And Veronica is the perfect example of that. So I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my conversation with Veronica tortoise. Hello, hello, Veronica. I am just I’ve been waiting to have this conversation with you. So really waiting to have this conversation with you since something that we talked about a long time ago sort of caught my attention. And I thought of all the people to have this conversation with Veronica is the one but before we start, I want you to tell people who is Veronica Chordas?
Well, that’s a loaded question.
At this moment, where is Veronica in this moment? And the question that question will become obvious in a minute.
So where I am physically is in Vancouver, in the great white north, and I am from Ohio, and it’s always been a dream of mine to travel the world. So I am making that a reality. So who who is Veronica? Veronica is a seeker. An artist, musician, a former yoga instructor. I still practice yoga as well. There’s so many aspects to who Veronica is that it’s difficult to to define really. Multi potential light is probably the best word
that probably is I would say that. So I wanted to invite you in this conversation because today we really are going to dive deep into the whole idea and this myth, this myth that has been propagated all over the place that says that passions don’t pay the bills that along with master you know the whole like Jack of all trades, master of none, those are probably the two things like the tooth idioms or whatever they are that I just can’t stand like for so many reasons. So you similar to me, we’re multi potential eights. You have I have worked together now a long time both as my client as well as collaborators, right because you are my web designer. And my branding expert. I mean, my whole brand exists thanks to you. But before that, I want you to go back in time, and I want I would love for to hear a little bit more about when did you start to realize that you were a person that had a lot of passions like kind of more than your average folk.
I would say pretty young. So I was brought up in a large family that did not have a lot of money. So all of my hobbies and interests I always had to choose one at a time. And it was soccer and baseball and sports and, and all of those things. But also I really like when you asked me from when I was five years old. What do you want to be when you grow up? I would always reply an artist. So I wanted to take art lessons. I wanted to do gymnastics I wanted to I tinkered on the piano and was playing music very young. So all of these things always were very interesting to me. And because my parents were always like choose one we can’t we can’t do music lessons. And have you traveled for soccer or you know, so I always had to pick one at a time. And eventually, music became the main path for me through my youth.
By the time I was 10 I was learning the French horn and became very good at it pretty quickly. I was first chair by the time I was in seventh grade from fifth fifth to seventh grade. So I was first chair and I was in District orchestras and all that kind of stuff. And travel with with with my high school orchestra. I was also invited to tour Europe with a youth orchestra but I could not do that because my sorry mom. My parents couldn’t afford it. So that was that was something that has always been like in the back of my mind. Like I didn’t get to go to Europe. But I think that probably started the travel bug for me was in high school, touring with the orchestra and the band we we went all over the United States playing in different competitions and things so that was something that I really loved.
I can imagine I and so did you ever feel like if you think about it, you were you know you’re finishing up high school you’re getting ready to go to college. What did you study? What did you major in a university
I mean, I majored in music with music perform. Yeah, I have a bachelor’s degree in music performance on the French horn. And it was something that I was really struggling with a decision because I was drawn to graphic design as well. I was in art classes in high school too. And I wanted to do graphic design because it not only didn’t interest me but I also felt like it was more practical because you know it’s something that’s very easily easily you can make money out it in our society, with with, you know, commercials and all that kind of stuff. But I was encouraged by teachers and my parents to stick with music because I was better at it than art but maybe because I was actually getting private lessons and for more focused on it at the time. Right. So that’s what I ended up getting my bachelor’s degree in and then and then I eventually went for my master’s in music history and literature because I had the idea that I would be a college professor that didn’t quite pan out.
Well, it kind of panned out. I mean, you do teach a class.
Yes, I do. I do. I teach for a community college. Yeah, online. I still do that. Yeah.
What did you find? I’m surprised I have to admit, I’m actually surprised to hear that your parents encouraged you know, a bachelor’s degree in music performance with the French horn. Considering the fact that you know most parents when they come again, no offense to any of our parents, but when I also have a music degree as you know, mines, music engineering and electrical engineering, but my brother especially, was totally tried to convince me to go out of it. He was like, You should study he had studied civil engineering, which is funny because he never used this degree. And I used my degree a lot, but it was funny. Because he was like, why would you ever go to study music? I mean, my I first thought I was going to be in jurisprudence, so we’re not even gonna go down that route.
But you know, I also had so many interests. I was in like lots of different clubs, theater and math and social studies. I was a silver night in South Florida for social studies, actually, even though math at the time was my like, most important thing. And here I was going into like philosophy and sociology and stuff like that. And then I switched gears completely into the world of music. And my mother and my family. Were like looking at me going What the hell are you doing? My brother in particular was like, you should get a call, you should get an engineering degree, because then you know, you can fall back on it and if anything you should need so I’m surprised that your family actually encouraged you to do something like french horn in a performance degree.
Well, I think that is something that my parents are a little different with. My dad is has tend tends to be more practical. So he was like, why don’t you do music education, because you can always teach, you know, and I did actually start off with that major. When I was a freshman. I was a music education major. And then I realized like, I don’t want to be a band director. I had no desire to do marching band, like just not my favorite thing. So I switched my sophomore year to performance and my mom is a frustrated artist. Well, poet to be artists meaning like creative, you know, she actually has degrees in science and religion, but never got to explore that writing piece of her. So I think that’s why she encouraged all five of us to pursue. All five of us are in the arts in some way. Music or my sister’s a photographer, you know, that kind of thing. So I think she really kind of pushed that. Do do your passions, do your passions and my dad. My dad always said, Follow the path of the heart, because all paths lead to the same place. So he was always like someone that always encouraged us to follow the heart. Even though he would he would say like we’ll do education. Just because you know, you want to make some money. So he always had that like little piece underneath it, but both of them were very, very supportive in everything. So that’s a
huge gift. I mean, my mom was was worried about paying for college. And so she was like, I remember we were sitting down at the table, my senior year of high school and my mother was like, Okay, let’s have a conversation about what schools you can apply to based on how much we can you know, can afford and I was like, Absolutely not. I was so headstrong. I was like, Absolutely not. I am going to apply to all the schools I want to go to and we will find a way to find the money like I will scrounge for scholarships, I will do whatever it takes, don’t worry about it. We will figure it out. And I was just like, she was like, Alright, whatever. You do it you do you and it was my brother who was the other one that was like no, no, no type of thing.
So how do you go from here’s my question, you graduate music degree you go and you get this you know, somewhat sensible, master’s degree. And then you go out into the wild world. Now, when I met you, you were working for your parents business, if I remember correctly. So somewhere in there, you had years of exploration. What directions do you take? I mean, we hear it all the time, especially as as a fellow, you know, School of Music. There’s this weird balance in the School of Music of of like trying to be practical. So even though you’re highly incredible about the school you went to, but I went to the University of Miami and highly encouraged to be extremely experimental. And you know, on the cutting edge while you’re in school, but then as you’re getting close to graduation, it’s like, let’s be really practical, where are you going to get a job? And you know, whether there was a performance majors that were going into orchestras or you know, the people who are going into schools or myself who ended up like I interviewed for the FBI, I actually was offered a job doing audio video forensics, for the FBI.
So I turned it down to go into software, which was actually highly on the cutting edge. I mean, at the time, it was like the internet. We were at the bubble. I’m not going to date myself, but the bubble was growing. And it was really at the cutting edge you didn’t know where it was gonna go. It was it was hit or miss. And we had to have big conversations in my family between the stability of the FBI where it would be one job for the rest of my life. And where I knew how I was gonna get paid and what the scale was going to be and how my progression was going to be and after a rigorous six month, you know, whole kind of FBI background check six, what is it? I forgot the name of the clearance that I had, but whatever was one of the second levels of clearance and then all of a sudden it will top like top something clearance. I don’t remember what it’s called and then all that for me to say nope, I’m going to software my mom was like what what do you mean I’m like I’m moving across the country to go to to go work for an internet company that could like fold tomorrow type of thing.
But there wasn’t a part of me that knew that I had to it was a you know, I went to work for at the time it was called progressive networks changed the name to real networks. Most people don’t know but most of the audio in the video that we rely on nowadays comes from real networks technology. It was really completely fundamental to what was the audio and video revolution online. So I was staying in the creative arts in my mind, my mind calculated that it was a technical company with a corporate job with all of the corporate benefits, stock options, so a little bit on the cutting edge and at the same time, it was creative, it was in music and it was an audio and video online. And so I sort of had this, this deep sense of, okay, I’m taking a risk, but it’s, but it’s not risky. You know, like there was a part of me that really understood that the risk wasn’t really that risky. I don’t know how because I eventually did go to one of those software companies that folded like, show up at work and it’s all closed and you can’t get in there like letting everybody off. So I did end up in one of those situations, but I always sort of had this feeling that that the next opportunity was going to present itself. How did you kind of ride the waves of your passion? How did you how did you really feel like I can take these risks and go into these creative aspects. And I’m gonna have food on the table.
Well, I got married Joan. So when I actually got married, right, the same year that I graduate with my bachelor’s degree and my personal life as far as relationships have had big impact on the major decisions that I’ve made. So I didn’t go to the schools that probably would have given me a better hold on, on being successful as a music performer because they were too far away from my boyfriend. So like I had I actually had schools contacting me to apply to go there like Ohio State and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Baldwin Wallace, which we’re all pretty close to where I’m from, but not close enough, you know, and Youngstown State actually has a really, like, renowned jazz program, but french horn isn’t really part of jazz. And not that the Danish School of Music is a bad school. It’s not at all it’s a great school.
That’s where I got my master’s degree, but actually went from my bachelor’s degree at the University of Akron. And the main the two main factors that made me go there were one was close enough to my boyfriend, and two, I really connected with the professor there. And he was an old hippie. So he was also very much like follow your passions kind of person you know so I think that that was just instilled in me. Once I really wish that the university would have had more practical applications like what you were saying, how do you approach auditions and you know, how do you find them? First of all, now, it’s much easier with the Internet. But again, I’m dating myself. I remember when I was like, I don’t want an email account. I never I’ll never use it. And now that that’s like what I do. So it’s really funny how things have changed. But I was resistant to his cell phone as well. But at that time, it was difficult to find like what orchestras are seeking especially French horn, there’s only four maybe five and an orchestra. So it’s a limited, limited position. It’s not like the string section where there’s tons of strings, you know. So I really do wish they would have had more practical application like that, but you’re right, and that they encourage that, that expression and that that creativity and like my senior performance, I actually wrote all of my own music and worked with with an artist where the sculptures were instruments that I wrote for and and we played we played the sculpture and I played the French horn and it was music that was all like, original. So that that creativity has always been something that I’ve needed to express. Getting married and having a child.
Of course you wanted I wanted more stability. So that’s why I decided to do the master’s degree in something that was potentially more stable. It was very nice to have a husband that was working and allowed me that freedom of exploring different things. And at the same time, I had many odd jobs to help pay the bills. So while I was trying to find out exactly which path I’m supposed to be on, you know, I got certified in yoga and Reiki and was on a spiritual journey and was exploring music therapy possibilities or the things of that nature. All the while. Still being very interested in in art and and I always have sketched and drawn and done that sort of thing too. I taught myself, the graphic design programs and all of that sort of thing.
I didn’t have cool jobs like you. I worked like in a shoe store and in a bank.
I worked for industrial company, which is where I learned web design and marketing. So like everybody, all those skills that I’ve had, oh, I was a child therapist for a while. So all these odd jobs that at the time was like I’m just taking these jobs just to be able to pay the bills. They’ve they’ve all given me specific skills that I use now, which is really interesting.
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So I think that that’s actually
something that a lot of people don’t realize, where what I hear this from a lot of multi potential lights, and it’s so much is a frame of reference. I also actually had a lot of different types of jobs. I just kind of made them cool. In the sense of I found a way to convert everything that I was doing into something towards where I wanted to be. That was the way that my mentality was so when I graduated from college, I grad since I was in the middle of that FBI kind of background check which took like I said six months i i ended up working at a CD pressing plants and I was working the night shift. But my theory was you know, I was working on the software that you know on the software that you would use to edit music and to edit audio, which is what I was going to be doing for the FBI anyway. And, you know, I was listening to all this amazing music. So I was saying in the music scene. As a matter of fact, even in college, I actually did three different internships. I did internships with a band as a management I did internships at a radio station, being a radio engineer, and I did an internship with I was actually the second engineer to REM when they did the monster album so I was in a recording studio.
And I did that because I wanted that practical application I wanted to as you know as as both your you know your coach and mentor. My big thing is helping people integrate into their lives. Exactly whatever it is that they’ve learned, whatever they’re experiencing whatever it is, how does it become a part of your life? And so this was something where I was when I was in college after my in my sophomore year, I went up to my professors and it was like this is all cool what we’re learning but how do I apply it in life and that was why I started to do the internships. So I kind of took that approach to everything that I did. So when I worked in a bar as a bouncer, or you know, when I was I was training for events that I eventually was producing or when I was you know whatever working at my friends which McCall it’s a dry cleaning store. It was you know, to learn how to deal with people coming in and out. I don’t know I would just create this sort of scenario and made it look that way. And I found that to be something that helped me bounce.
So the thing that I found really interesting and what I still find very interesting and what I work with a lot with my clients, as you know is that when you take a step back and you look at all of those what seem odd jobs that you’ve taken, there’s an arc to them. There’s a storyline there. There’s a set of skills like you said it perfectly. I was taking an industrial job. You’re not focusing on all the stuff you did relating to the industrial part but you’re like that’s where I learned the software. And then I focused on that. And I took this job over here and that’s when I learned this skill and so you focus on the skills that you want, or that you need in order to continue the arc and I think that that’s the difference when people try to tell me oh, well you know, you jump from job to job to job but I’m like, actually, no. I took jobs and Job and Job and Job and we’ll continue to take jobs and do jobs and jobs and jobs because each one of them builds on maybe not in the traditional trajectory of I worked in a bank my entire life but they do in a trajectory of my life experiences in order and trusting my instinct to get me where I need to go.
You said something interesting that that I wanted to kind of tap into you said, you know, I did some of these to like to pay the bills. Taking a lot of these types of jobs. And jumping around. I mean, at some point you got out of the marriage you were in and I know you’ve traveled quite a bit and you’ve you know to get to where you are today as that branding specialist as that website designer and overall designer of so many things. You’ve you’ve taken you’ve traveled I mean there was a period when you were in Mexico, you were in Canada before when I first started to work with you and then you moved and then you’ve been in different parts of the US and you’ve done lots of different things. How do you do all of that country’s jobs and all of these different skill sets, you know, the pieces and how do you deal with the worry about the money? I mean, let’s just be honest. How do you deal with the wording of the money?
How do I deal with it? That’s an interesting question. I tend not to worry about it. I believe that what I need will be there. And it’s not it’s not the how it’s really hard to explain. It’s kind of a I know my needs will be met and at the same time, I do recognize that I have a limiting belief with it that I feel like there’s there’s a cap of what I’m allowed to have, you know, but I also feel like there’s a minimum of what I know I will have and so I’m working at making that expand you know, or move up maybe it’s kind of how I’m looking at it. But it’s something that in my marriage and even in my relationship now. I find that men have have kind of a tendency to worry more about providing and I don’t know if that’s a male female thing, but but the guys really worry about that, more so than than I ever have. And I’ve also been pretty darn broke.
So I’ve been to the point where I’ve actually technically, technically was homeless but never quite because I always had a very supportive family that let me move into their home. You know, so I’ve been like flat broke, declared bankruptcy all that kind of thing. And I survived. And I’m here and I’m still eating and I still have clothes and I still have a roof over my head. So I think that having those kinds of experiences and maybe even growing up in a family where where money was always tight you just realize like, that’s not all you need. That’s kind of a different direction. But that’s why I don’t worry about it. Because I know it’ll be there. Right?
And I love that because I feel like and actually somebody who watches you from the outside right? It’s when you’re inside of it. What I love about that, that way of looking at it is has its positives and its negatives, like what I’ve also noticed is that there’s like you said, there’s this part that you know will always be there, right? That’s the part that makes you feel safe and comfortable and that’s a safety that only can come from the inside. It doesn’t come from any place it comes from within and you feel it and just getting really comfortable and surrendering and understanding that you know you are always going to be taken care of and that could be family, right? That could be friends, but that could be money that’s coming in. What I have noticed and this is the part that you probably don’t see it as well as I see it is the change in that that Max, that Max is a lot richer.
We tend to think that it’s like oh, that Max is really low, but it’s actually not it’s actually there’s there’s the transformation that happens and I’m curious as to whether or not how the plants have fit into this. Like how have the plants really helped you understand that that max that you think is there is actually not really that low and actually has been rising? You know, year after a year and growing and growing in so many ways. And there’s this richness that is not just the economic richness because like you said the universe provides the the nature you’re a being of nature, you’re resourceful, you know how to create in a way that feels good and comfortable and is aligned with the things that you are doing. So you know, you can follow your creativity and like follow your heart like your father says, to really take that and always know you’re going to be taken care of. But that realization that wait a minute, my life is actually so much more than that. And then I’m actually being provided so much more than just that is you know where to the plants come in and helping you get there.
Thanks for listening to this episode of reconnect with plant wisdom, Intro and Outro Music by Steve Shuli and poinsettia from the singing Life of Plants. So join me to give you like our Dania and my plant collaborators next time on reconnect with plant wisdom
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Ancient and modern knowledge from biology to spirituality about the wondrous ways plants help you lead a Naturally Conscious life.