Thank you so much for this response. I really appreciate the time you took to write it. I agree with you, it takes an extremely strong will and resolution to manage a “hobby” like this.
I have thought about the concerns you brought up as well when I started exploring this activity.
- Energy/My real career — I only do this once a week max (hence why I’ve only been there 5 times in the past month). I have a feeling I will go there much less often now because I’ve seen so much/learned so much already. The novelty and excitement is starting to slowly wear off. It is extremely exhausting as well, as you’ve mentioned. We go there and walk around in 7-in heels for 6 hours. This is entirely a secondary and temporary pursuit, and I understand that fully. My career in software engineering is what I care about the most.
- Monetary temptation — One thing about this activity is that I absolutely REFUSE to spend any of the money I made on myself. I have hundreds of dollars sitting in a bag in my room, waiting for me to figure out a cause/charity to donate them to.
- Feeling uncomfortable —I know what my limits are and I never compromise when it comes to talking with customers.
I am indeed doing this for myself: to satisfy my own curiosity, to live more courageously, to defy societal stereotypes. I don’t have the courage, strength, or time to stand up for something greater than myself, even though I really wish I could. Nor is this a battle I can fight all by myself. I can only hope that through my writing and by talking to people, I can slowly encourage others to question long-held societal stigma/stereotypes. A better world for me means acceptance, and stigma/stereotype is the opposite of acceptance.