Am I the only one here, or do you ever feel like your creative mind is “trapped”? This shot of Michael Scott made me laugh out loud when writing this post because I imagine many of us can relate!
Hi, my name’s Mike and I’ve been in a 9-5 since graduating college with all the hopes and dreams of the world. Ok, ok…maybe not all the hopes and dreams of the world, but at least the ones of a simple life with my soon-to-be bride and happiness. If you’re still with me, hang in there while we sort through the verbal chaos that will ensue while I unscramble my ups, downs, ins, and outs of being a creative working a 9-5.
So, when I was a kid and my parents asked what I wanted to be, I told them “I’m gonna be an artamistic!” “Oh, you mean artist?” they’d say puzzled by my newly invented word. “NO! An artamistic!” I’d insist. “Oh, an architect?” would be the response to which I’d once more have to say “NO! An artamistic!” Well, my folks let it lie, and in all honesty, I’m not completely sure I even knew what I meant. I do know one thing though, through high school and college I told myself time and time again that I didn’t want a desk job, but here I sit…What?!?
So back to this 9-5 thing. I work hard, don’t get me wrong…and if I’m going to have a desk job, I really enjoy the work I do. I’m a mechanical designer and I get to design some pretty cool stuff. I get to create and solve problems and work in 3 dimensional space virtually and hands on. I even get to do some machining from time to time! But it’s not my art; it’s not my passion.
I find myself at work drifting towards my next creation, be it a turning, a piece of furniture, tool restoration, or building a lathe 🙂 This gives me such hope and excitement! I find myself dreaming during the day while at work, even when I’m perfectly happy in whatever task I may be doing, I dream. Is this a wake up call that I’d rather/should be pursuing my passions? But how? How do I jump with a new one in the family and being the sole bread winner? That’s a tough one, and I think the answer will reveal itself when the time is right. Currently, I get a weekend here and there, maybe I get up early enough to make progress in the shop before schlepping down the construction-laden roads to work. My favorite is running to the garage as often as possible when family is in town because there’s someone else to watch Annabelle and help Kathleen around the house…No, not really, that just makes me feel like a jerk and that stereotypical non-existent dad. So am I being insensitive, rude, selfish…or is it self-preservation to beg and steel those tiny moments of cathartic release?
When I think about it, it’s difficult to be excited about leaving a legacy of having warmed a chair all my working years. At the end of my time when I look back, do I want to remember that I worked for someone and didn’t fully utilize my strongest God given talents?
So, we talk about making a change sometime. Sometime, but not now. There are too many logistical reasons to make a change now. I agree, heck…I’m the one that points out most of those reasons, but it doesn’t make me happier. Is it that the grass is really greener or am I just chasing unobtainium? I mean, what do I really have to complain about? Lets look at what Mike’s got going for him. A new baby girl that’s happy and healthy, a loving wife that stands by me, gave me a child and supplies endless love and support for me and my passions, a job that consistently pays our expenses, cars that work, and a good roof over our heads. What a selfish pig you are Mike…you want more? No, not really. Different maybe, not more.
These kind of feelings make me want to pack it up, move to Podunk, live in a smallish mill style house with a steel building out back as my shop and just create. Sell my work and create. Having the flexibility to simply come in at lunch and eat with my family. Enjoy life a little more than running away from them for 9 1/2 hours a day driving to and from work. Sounds lovely, except that now my work has to sell for us to eat… hmm scary…Really, really scary.
For now, me and the fam are taking it one day at a time. One elated sale at a time, and maybe that elusive “someday” will present itself when the demand of my woodworking and blogging is providing enough to make a switch. Till then, I’m day dreaming and working towards that someday.