Don’t tell me to get a job. Define job anyway. Monotonous tasks, subordination to those of rank in the hierarchy regardless of their talent or wisdom, the dread of awakening to alarms dragging you unwillingly from dreams into yet another wade through doldrums until you can get to the next day of respite, obsessing on its arrival in spite of the real possibility you’ll be drained of all energy and playfulness by the time it arrives. That’s the first layer that comes to mind.
And yet… Structures and routines that encourage daily productivity, a network of colleagues to interact with throughout the day, a system where you’re mostly free of responsibilities outside your main goals, and to top it all off – that divine opiate – the delicious enticement of a steady paycheck, at least some benefits if you’re lucky. So long as you follow the rules. Thing is, it’s really hard to follow the rules after I get … I don’t even know the word for it. It’s not precisely bored. Or in some cases it is, but not in all cases. It can be one or more of several things; comfortable, complacent, bored, irritated, frustrated, disillusioned, truculent, overconfident, arrogant? Doesn’t matter really, ultimately it comes down to not wanting the job enough to behave myself anymore, either consciously or not.
One way or another, I can’t hold a steady “real” job for much more than 18 months. Usually it’s more like a year. Or less. Here’s the secret part. Shhhhh…..nor do I truthfully want to. I want to defy all the standard expectations and make my living doing things I care enough about to just DO. Naturally, without a huge internal struggle and a lot of self management and, well… trickery in the service of goals that have no personal meaning for me. I want to fall into my obsessions like a big fluffy room size pillow at least 3 or 4 days each week and get paid for the time I spend swimming in them, studying them, collecting, creating, organizing, critiquing, analyzing and describing them.
To be truly productive, to master my chosen crafts and provide some security for my family, I need to walk the walk I’ve been studying so intently for so long. I have to muster all my personal will and become a ninja at the art of making the most of my time and resources. I have to practice what I preach and summon the power of my circle, my tribe of like minds, my found family – our needs demand it no matter how my ego howls. I have to find the courage to follow my path and be the most powerful version of myself and we’re all at our best when we act in a web of support. The scariest part is knowing that when I wield my power more fully, I will have to relinquish the relative safety of “just following orders” and instead live fully as myself, embracing the risk as well as the rewards of acting according to my knowledge, experience, instincts, and priorities.
It’s far past time to put my whole self in, do the hokey pokey, and let the chips fall where they may.