The past few weeks have been pretty intense. I've been doing a lot of traveling, a lot of reading, a lot of thinking. (But not a lot of posting. Sorry.) I went to Chicago for the first real (more than a few hours) time. I saw Niagara Falls. I drove past Mystic but didn't stop for pizza. I slept in a creepy MOTEL in the middle of nowhere straight out of Psycho but didn't die. I ate 10 canisters of Pringles. The barbeque kind are the best.
I'm home now and even though I'm not working at a "real job," I'm busy all the time. School, gallery, family, house. Not in that order. But there's one less thing on my list, and it's keeping me sane for the most part.
(Other things are making me insane, but that's beside the point.)
Here's what I wanted to post about.
While sitting at the beach in Humarock, I had a small personal revelation.
Figuring out my employment situation has been a constant struggle over the past few years. I decided a long time ago that I would rather make less money doing something fulfilling than make more money doing something not congruous with my own personal ethics. In other words, I would rather make half as much doing the accounting for a small nonprofit with a mission I believe in than work at a large corporation at which I felt alienated and disengaged, or worse - felt like I was doing harm to my community and the global environment.
I want to help make the world a better place. That has been a primary goal.
When I was in Humarock, I spent a lot of time with my family. I also wrote a paper for school and took a lot of long walks along the beach. One afternoon I sat on the shore and watched the waves crash against the pebbles along the shore.
"What can I do to make the world a better place?" I thought to myself.
I thought about that for a very long time. I've been thinking about that for a very long time. As I sat on the beach, my toes in the sand, I realized something.
The world is a better place. The world is actually a pretty fantastic place. It isn't perfect, but the world is beautiful, and amazing, and overwhelming.
The world is a better place... but it's how we perceive, process and interact with it (and each other) that is flawed.
When Nick and I crossed the border into Canada, the lady at the station asked us what we do for a living. Recently unemployed, at first I didn't know how to respond, so I blurted the first thing that came to my head. "Um, He's a musician, and I'm an artist."
I can run a business. I'm a good accountant. I can office manage the bejeezus out of any small business. I can build walls. I can stucco. I know how to use power tools. I can't play football. I can write grants and create development plans. I can facilitate strategic planning. I can work hard and be on time and be a good employee.
but I am also an artist, and sometimes it is all to easy to set that part of me aside for more "practical" things.
I'll be turning 30 in about a week. One of the things I wanted to do this summer is to realign myself with the things that matter the most. Over the next few months, I'll be doing just that.