Action Reaction

As I get increasingly excited over Wall Woes, IMPARTWORKS, and my other projects, these topics find their way into more and more of my everyday conversations. When somebody asks me what I do, I proudly tell them about the blog and my art, and their potential moving forward. As it turns out, if there exist two job titles on this planet that impart upon people a sense of skepticism and utter faithlessness, they are “blogger” and “artist.” Given the brevity of my surfeit of prior “career moves”, it’s possible that within my group of friends it’s a simple case of me having cried wolf one too many times. However, I’ll go out on a limb and say that “blogger” and “artist” are two terms not generally synonymous with profitability anyway. And since money is the only measure of success recognized by the majority of my friends, I’ve been graced with more than the recommended daily dose of raised eyebrows and disinclined “Oh…that’s great. Good for you”s.

That said, I’m still super stoked about where this is all going. If anything, I’m even more driven now thanks to all these sticks in the mud. Now I have something to prove. Also, it’s becoming more and more evident that in this stage of my “independent” career move, I need to surround myself only with those who are unconditionally supportive of what I’m doing. The fact that these people are so few and far between is actually a big advantage as this frees up a great deal of time and energy for me to work on the things that matter. If I didn’t have reason enough to distance myself from distractions before, I certainly do now.

In response to the reaction I’ve been getting, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment. Starting today, for one week I’m going to refrain from any and all physical contact with my world of friends outside of a work environment and focus solely on Wall Woes and company. I’m challenging myself to actively address the challenges, needs and goals set forth in Laying the Foundation. I’m genuinely curious to see how much I can accomplish in a week. I don’t know what I’m capable of since I’ve never been focused on anything for longer than 38 seconds.

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Declaration In Dependence

This is my success story. I am going to make it up as I go. I decided to stop thinking and start doing, and this is what I have to show for it. Exactly what “this” is, is still somewhat of a mystery to me but I’m not going to waste any time worrying about that.

I always believed that I would get some great idea one day that would land me a “career” doing something I love. It made sense to want to be my own boss. That would be much more rewarding than working for someone else. I could be independent, and make on my own schedule, and everything would work itself out. Right?

Not exactly. Ironically, independence, as it applies to careers, implies a very strong dependence on others. Unless you’re forging money, you are not making a truly independent living. If you work alone and for yourself, then your customers are your business partners. You depend on them. If you gamble for a living, you depend on someone else losing money. No matter how you look at it, you are dependent upon others. What’s more? In most cases, the more people you depend on, the better your chance of success.

I have been in denial of my dependencies for most of my life. Since I graduated college six years ago, I have yet to do anything that I am proud of. I was so sure that success would smack me in the face, I gave up all efforts to gain work experience of any kind. I was too proud to even consider career placement. I preoccupied myself with all sorts of “great” business ideas while staying afloat through dead-end jobs in the service industry. The growing frustration of my under achievement was suppressed all along by the comfort of old habit as I waited for the one moment that would change it all.

And then it came. Only it wasn’t a moment, and it felt a hell of a lot more like backtracking than progress. It was a chain reaction built up by years of accrued disinterest, tipped off by heartache, that led me to flee the comforts of home to examine my life from a different angle. Total elapsed time: 13+ months and counting. Accounts of this are a closely guarded secret.

What have I learned from it all? It’s never too late to turn things around to start living the life you want. All it takes is one decision and unconditional commitment. Life is short, and it only gets shorter as you grow up. So here I am nurturing my interests into passion, because passion makes way for purpose. And like anything worth while, it takes time and attention to develop.

This is my success story. Consider it begun.