It's been awhile since my last journal entry, but if you've been reading the writing beneath my deviations you should have a good idea as to my state of affairs. I wanna go over some thoughts in my head and update my watchers/friends. Maybe something here will get a dialogue going.
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
So my last journal entry was a couple of months ago and a lot has changed. I grew apprehensive of the machinist position I earned. I was almost injured several times by the carelessness of my colleagues. The management [ and I use the term loosely] completely ignored these events. The clear measures which would increase safety were not taken, and I was literally fearing for my life. Some other workers were not as lucky. No fatalities, but several injuries were incurred. As such, I now work as an Undertaker for a leading funeral services provider here in Canada.
I've done work for dozens of funeral homes in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as various bodies of law enforcement and the Coroner's office itself. For the sake of brevity I'll just say that, along with many other responsibilities, I've conducted body removals, assisted in embalming, packaging, shipping and the internment of countless departed. I've even made the news a couple of times for the more uncanny passings. All of this is pretty exciting for me and I awake at the beginning of a new day genuinely proud
of what I do, because for a long time I carried a shame in me that I hid.
I never spoke of it before, but I want to address it. A lot of creators know how selfish "making" can be. The dungeons we seal ourselves in are our fortresses of solitude and a lot of us didn't really fit in "out there" to begin with. Most theorize that it is that very same ostracism buying us time which makes our abilities possible, but who do they help? Most of the time it's not good for us either! Being an artist is not the most lucrative field, with extremely few of us being able to survive on art alone, saying nothing of prospering to the point of acquiring a car, a descent house, supporting a family etc... Honestly, it's probably easier to become a doctor, or a lawyer. I enjoyed doing my work while the others in my family were working hard, hating it, and earning more than I. A few years ago I realized that they were beginning to resent supporting me and/or my not carrying an equal share of life's financial burden.
It was regular white and no-collar jobs that got me my car, apartment, super computer, sweet phone etc... and all the same things for my girlfriend, who I love very much. Her standard of living is very important to me, and most days I just try to do what I can to make her, my mom's and my cat's life easier. When I was younger I thought mostly of myself, snapping at anyone who disrespected me, but now I'm a lot less concerned with myself. Maybe that's what changes when you become a man: you take responsibility, love your family and friends and provide as hard as you can.
I've been lucky, or maybe I worked for it -- I don't know-- but I was able to support myself, my girlfriend and my cat on art alone for a couple of months, but it was damn hard; my bank account over-drafted on a regular basis as I was "living the dream." Funeral services makes money a non-issue, and I am free to do art, which I love, the way I want, instead of feeling like a dancing monkey doing ridiculous work out of desperation. Now I pick the interesting jobs, and reject the rest.
Would I be happier if I was making the same money doing art instead? Honestly, probably not, because I want almost total creative control, as not all creators are destined for the studio [I've been working on a certain project for over a year now and am soon to release it].
I don't mean to sound disheartening. If you're young, have the support, time and money to develop, then go right ahead and go for the studio job. Maybe you'll be happiest if you achieve greatness. I just hope that you don't have to sacrifice things like the greatness of family and life experiences. Drawing in that cubical, or home office could work for you, but please develop other skills. Don't be useless
. Work for something/someone besides your own ego and gratification. All functioning people have to know to cook, clean, physically work and care for others. These things, plus your art, will make you high a value person who is worthy of love from others and yourself.
*Be excellent to each other.