A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. ~Albert Camus
I can’t imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it. ~Edgar Winter
I met a woman on Halloween dressed in a witches’ costume. I complimented her outfit (no one else at the train station was wearing one) and we began to talk.
We were taking a train back to New York and she told me, in the course of our discussion, that she was very unhappy with her work and she wished that she could live a creative professional life. I had been telling her of all the things that I do to live a creative lifestyle. Yet, as much as she was agreeing that she should follow her muse, there was reluctance and, yes, fear, in all of her agreeing.
My father did a job for 26 years that he hated. It wore him down, but…he had a family to take care of, and that was that. This woman also was in a position that she did not like, that she said was soul killing, for well over 10 years. Even though I swore I would not do what my dad did, I got stuck in the money trap for 15 years; due to being married and having children I needed to help support. But… I was unhappy every single day. That only changed when, in my mid-30’s, I quit my job and followed a burning desire.
A lot of people seem to think that the only time that they can do what they really love is when they retire. Why does that sound wrong to me? Why do we have to wait until we are older to enjoy what we do professionally? Who says we can’t enjoy what we do on a day-to-day basis right now, right here, in our own terms?
In this horrible economic time, people are more afraid than ever to leave the position that they already have. Yet, the security that many used to feel that they had in their pockets is slowly fading away. I feel that the structure of the secure position… The future of the workforce is changing, and we are not changing fast enough to meet the new demands. There are other alternatives out there: we just have to MAKE them work for us and change the paradigm of work.
I can speak about what it’s like to be a teaching artist today. If we do not alter the way that we approach our jobs, if we do not take it to a new professional level, and if we are not treated as professionals, then we will get left behind. I love being a teaching artist. I also see that I have to change the way that I do things or have done things to survive.
Change is good, as long as we see it that way. As long as we are not afraid of it. As long as we accept the challenge of it and don’t let it overcome us. How we going to do this?
It takes a creative leap of faith.
What creative leap are you willing to take?