This is my last week in these digs. Lots of history. Lots of good and bad times. Funny how closing the door this coming Saturday means closing the door on a past life. It isn't even a new chapter; it's a brand new book. Made in Jupiter. In the year 340X. Crazy stuff.
Feeling comfortable where you're at? Cushy job? Family intact? Home secured? Here's a heads-up: Nothing is certain. Always, no matter what, prepare for the absolute worst. This doesn't mean you have to live or consume your day with thinking of this possible worst, but you certainly need to have a mental/financial/logistical reserve for it in the event it comes by.
The irony in preparing for the worst after having already experienced the worst is that life is just so much better. Things change, and for the better. There's clarity after chaos.
I now work in a cubicle. It's very large and it's in the corner of this beautiful office in Santa Monica, which means windows galore. Half of the people at my new job are pretty miserable, but it's because they blame numbers for sucking the life out of them. The other half are in my department. I'm lucky I scored a job where every day is different, and demands constantly changing creative input by the task. To say it's fun isn't saying enough. To say I get paid for it is just absurd at points.
When I accepted this job, I did the unthinkable: Take a job at an office. A 9-to-5 that's really a 7-to-3. A gig that graduated me from 9 years of Converses to the army of Steve Madden.
As excited as I was for taking this great job (I was screaming the whole drive home), I arrived at a temporary point in feeling like a sell-out.
I'm a pianist. And not some hack with terrible technique, but a jazz pianist with a love for pop music and a secret obsession with creating smart pop music. I'm a writer, albeit for free tickets and minimal pay, but, still, a writer actively engaged in local music.
But I realized 2 weeks into this new gig that no job should ever ruin your artistic ambitions. Whether you're toying with new media marketing or simply doing monotonous data entry, you're the buck. You allow your artistry to die.
So, again, next time you complain that you "don't have the time" for art, or that your job "murdered" your spirit, do a double-take. Did the minimal time really turn you into a defeatist? Did an arbitrary map of cubicles tell you to put the brush down?
There's a good chance they didn't. Keep creating. If you don't, you've just lived the life of a poseur hack.