Whenever I get my hair cut, I marvel at my hair stylist. She is not only really talented - and makes my long hair a piece of cake to take care of - but, she truly loves her job. I call her a hair genius, and a friend.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, that is rare. I love to write, I love my photography. Someday, I will do the latter full-time - and hopefully the photography as well. It's a constant frustration to have a real love and passion for something that I've just HAD to do since I was three years old, but not near enough time to devote to it. Even after all the routes I've taken in careers...chemistry, accounting, social services...it always comes back to the writing. Writing keeps me grounded, keeps me sane...it's a form of therapy, a form of expression, a form of artistry. And, again, just something that's in me that I have to do. I do spend some nights up way too late writing, and try to get up way too early in the morning to write. But, I'm always pulled away to my regular job.
I have a quote I carry around with me that I saw a long time ago. I gave a copy of it to a friend of mine who is a filmmaker, but works as a bartender and a waitress. Her first film was fabulous. The quote is: "Support your art, don't expect it to support you." So, I try to remember that, but as an artist, of course I'd like to work toward just focusing on the art. I try to remember that I like my clients, and am basically collecting book material everyday. But, I do have my moments - many more lately - when I tire of taking care of everyone else, and not having enough time to take good enough care of myself - or enough energy to work on my art and be truly committed to it.
Worst of all, as time goes on, and this week was a good example, I never feel appreciated or respected by the people I work for. I never feel like any abilities or talents I have are utilized, and I don't fit in. For a kid who grew up all over the country, not fitting in...well, you get used to that. But, it would be nice to feel appreciated once in awhile when you try to work so hard.
I talked to one of my oldest and dearest friends this morning. After years of working at a job he loved for the airlines, it was changed drastically, and eventually eliminated after 9/11. What followed was him doing a job just to get by for way too long. He did it well, but hated it. This morning, it was so wonderful to hear the joy in his voice after getting new job a few months ago, which he again loves. It was a long time coming, and well-deserved.
Hopefully, we will all have our turns at this. In the meantime, the free spirit in me feels more than stifled at times. I want to be someone who really loves what they do, be creative and an artist...not someone who is making a living to support it. Guess it gives me something to attain to, and I certainly know I'm not alone on this one. In the long run, the good news is, when it comes to retirement someday way down the road...writing is something I'll never retire from anyway.