Friday, April 20, 2007

Here's to the Artists!

Where in the Bible does it say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged?" Anyone? Bueller? Christian or not, I feel like that's a testament to live by. I used to live this way… then I went to college and developed a superiority complex. Don't get me wrong, I have some of the best friends ever and would not give them, or any of my experiences in college, up for the world. But I am so sad that he dreamer inside me was suppressed by an idea of what I'm supposed to be.

I've talked about this before – society's expectations. I used to write and draw. I used to be an English major. Then I was told there was no money in that, so I switched to Journalism. Then I was told there was no money in that, so I focused on PR – where the "money" is, apparently. Yeah… I was making $19K before taxes when I graduated and got my first job in PR doing mostly data entry. Anyways...

Now I look back and it's not quite regret I feel because I have learned so much, but it's sadness that I allowed money to influence and stall my dream. It laid dormant while I tried to make the bucks, went back to school to delay having to make the bucks with hopes of making more with my advanced degree…

Then something changed on January 6, 2006. Something that put everything in perspective and created complete chaos simultaneously. I don't really care about money anymore. I don't care about having the house, the car, the stuff.

What matters is my family, what few friends I have who understand (or at least try to understand) what I've been through and why I've made some of the random decisions I've made in the last fifteen months. Call it stupidity, call it post-traumatic stress disorder, call it whatever the fuck you want to. I'm calling it enlightenment because my dream isn't dead. I love to write. I feel lucky to have a passion for something I've been told I'm sort of good at. So I'm taking another chance – I call it an opportunity – to realize my dream.

Because I'm not that person who can run the rat race. I'd rather die. I don't like dressing up for work and having to wear a thong and heels every day. I hate having to hide my tattoo and take out my tongue ring because clearly those things affect my ability to function in the workplace (oh wait, maybe they do… maybe they're a sign of my contempt for the man). I hate, hate, hate being told what I can and cannot do between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. I work just as well at 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. as I do at 8:56 in the morning when I'd rather be watching Matt Lauer tell me about a new way to detect breast cancer on the Today Show than checking my e-mail.

And why should I be up in the middle of the night, stressed out to the point of tears because I am miserable doing anything less than what I dream? I'd rather wait tables and leave work at work, and be able to sleep at night for the rest of my life.

So here's to the artists! I know too few, which is why I feel I have to write an explanation for my erratic behavior. I wonder if Kerouac or Hunter S. had this problem… wondering what their peers thought. I'm going to go ahead and say not so much.

I'm not sorry I keep trying to find something that makes me happy and not discovering it. I am sorry if I'm a failure or that I can't handle pressure. So many things are no longer important to me, but I am learning what is. I don't want to waste any more time. My circumstances may not be the best, but maybe they are.

Don't you think crazy people make the best artists? Plath, Brando, Van Gogh, Bea Arthur (lol), the great Jeff Curtis, Jerry Seinfeld… you get the idea. Mental illness and/or a tortured life equal massive amounts of creativity that can be enjoyed by all. Even the sane ones.

2 comments:

Jaime said...

Wheels, you just gotta keep on keepin on, and fighting the man! You do whatever it is makes your heart happy. The rest will come. Hell, I'm a teacher. I know about not making jack squat. But I'm happy. I can go home every night and sleep, and not have to worry about what anyone thinks or what else I have to do tomorrow. So I say screw the man and screw anyone else who won't support you in the pursuit of your dream! We love you to death Sarah, and would be glad to help in anyway make those dreams become a reality!

sack said...

Good read, Wheels! I'm glad to hear that you are doing what makes you happy. Keep it real in the nueve uno cinco.