Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy vs. making money

I've come to realize that my passion has waned. I'm not sure why. Responsibility, retail, outside influences telling me I need a steady income & health insurance, stress, I'm sure all have something to do with it. Having escaped retail hell & finding a place in higher education has helped, but I still find myself always reaching the same question. How will this passion or creative idea make me money. WHAT!? I never asked that of myself BEFORE I graduated college. I had a professor in college push me toward Graphic Arts on computers, telling me it would make me money. He told me Fine Arts would never make me money. I needed to be on the cutting edge. Truth is I don't enjoy rendering or computer graphic art. I like the feel of the paper, the smell of a fresh canvas, the way the paint glides from the paint brush to the canvas. I love trying to get what is in my head to look the same on canvas or paper. I never questioned what it meant or why. It was just what I was supposed to do. Now, I find myself trying to fill a niche or create something that masses might want. Why? Money. I have to pay the mortgage, right? I'm tired. I don't want to think this way anymore. How does a person rid themselves of this thinking? How does someone go back to the unlimited passion & not fret about the mortgage. How do you throw your cares to the wind & be free again? How does an artist, a shaman, a person who values independence & freedom connect with that flow of energy that runs through the universe once they've found themselves stranded on a muddy path? I'm stuck. Stuck in a place that pays me just enough to get by, but not get out. How do I escape?


Chris said...

I know the feeling. Your professor wanted you to focus on an area that you weren't passionate about, and tried to get you to neglect what you were interested in. And because the motive behind this was money, you kind of bought in to his idea that what you love to do is not valuable. Value = money = success = happiness.

You have a mortgage, and bills, and you need to buy food, and all this cost money. Money = survival. How do you get money? You do something valuable? What's valuable? NOT what you love to do, right? All these other things that you really don't care about are though, right?

It's fear. If you're not making money, you're not a success. Even when you've convinced yourself it's not fear, there's this little part of you that knows you're lying, that knows that you've bought into it, because it keeps you safe from failing in the eyes of others, who would judge you as wasting your time doing things that don't make money because everybody tells us that making money is the goal.

And it's not the goal at all. It was never the goal. I made a trap for myself, too, and I'm only now starting to believe the things I have been telling myself for years. I've always known what needed to be done, but I was always afraid of something, so I never did what needed to be done. I put things off. And I basically wrecked almost every aspect of my life just so I would have excuse after excuse why none of it could be done.

I made a list of 110 things I wanted to do this year, and then I stopped updating my blog. We said let's start a writing group, and then I stopped writing. This is fear. This is my lizard brain in action. This is Resistance.

I'm tired of feeling this way, too. I'm tired of feeling trapped and overwhelmed all the time. I'm tired of doubting my abilities, and not having the courage to create something and just put it out there for the whole world to see.

For months now, I've been trying to decide what to do about my blog because I've just been so emotionally and mentally wound up about "the future", and I just haven't felt like I could write anything -- I mean anything, not even a stupid blog post that means something.

I've been reading a ton of stuff lately, looking for insights and clues and inspiration. I've been feeling, for a long while now, that I was onto something, like I knew I was heading in the right direction, but I could never quite express it to myself. My attitude and outlook have been improving, things have been getting better. And just yesterday, I figured out the blog problem, AND a major writing problem.

I know this is a long road, none of this magically takes care of itself, but fuck it, at some point we have to ditch every damn expectation that anyone and everyone has ever had of us, and just be who we are, and just do what we do.

Jen Tucker said...

Nice Chris! Thanks. Fear is stupid. Let's do it!