I seem to have a pattern of being very good at what I do, but finding it extremely difficult to create a lucrative career out of it (or even a reasonable living). I am an artist at heart. I hold degrees from the Berklee College of Music and The Art Institute International and have been celebrated in small circles for my creativity. I've held positions with trade show/exhibit fabricators, commercial printers (as designer), bands with major aspirations, and did a solo act in restaurants (as a musician). I put myself out there as much as I can and even more sometimes. I've made three trips to L.A. in the past six months.
My talent is never in question. I am personable, and generally people seem to like me. I do not claim to love humanity maybe as much as I should. I feel some of that comes from frustration at my predicament. People rarely seem to follow through and do what they say they will. It's like I'm in a holding pattern for life and the emotions get stronger and more debilitating every time I get a lead and it goes sour.
Can you see something I can't that is keeping me out of the fun and the sun?
Actually, I do see something keeping your from the sun and the fun. It’s your nature. Fact is, you’re not a yippy-skippy kind of guy. You're a dreamer (Pisces) with depth (Pluto). And I don’t have an answer to that, other than I think you are fine the way you are. And when you get to this age (thirties), it’d be nice if you could get to a place where you agree with me. So this is the tack I’m going to take with your post.
You’re obviously a sensitive, deep thinking, and feeling sort. It’s sweet. It’s special. And you are a hard worker who perseveres. And it makes me think of any number of movies I have seen of profiles of painters. Edvard Munch, Van Gogh, etc. They are all so tortured. Their lives are not very good!! They are constantly yearning. They are disappointed. Their pain is pretty much continuous, yet they remain on this very difficult path. Why? Because it’s who they are!
And they grace the rest of us. As do you. Your question today graces my column. People will read your words. Some of them will understand them. And they will feel for you, for themselves, and for humanity. And this will not get you your dream job, but…
Even if you landed your dream gig tomorrow, you will not feel “sun and fun.” Because you will still be you. You will still be searching, reaching, trying, yearning. People will still like you. You will still like them — not so much. You will still feel as if you are in a “holding pattern” because this is who you are and how you are — and is that so bad?
Is it bad to be deep? I don’t think so. Would you like to be a veneer? Here’s a story.
I was watching CNN once, during some kind of crisis. Oh! It was when the DC snipers were loose. Anyway, one of the on-camera guys was interviewing someone — some cop I guess — and this cop was a big guy. He was tall. The newsman, on the other hand, was short. Very short! So he was standing there, with his arm all the way extended to reach the taller man’s mouth, and he looked distressed. He looked just stressed out of his mind.
Cut to commercial and back to the interview. All of a sudden the newsman is now not just as tall as the cop, he’s taller! He must have made them get him a bucket to stand on, I guess. And he had this smug look on his face, like “I’m tall now, you motherfuckers”.
So think about that. He’s got a big career, but look at the insecurity! What’s a bastard like that going to do when his hairline recedes, hmm??
So with that in mind, re-read your question. I think you will see a sketch of confident, secure, and solid man who is painfully aware of his limitations and the limitations of others, i.e., the people who do not keep their promises. One man is a man. The other man is an embarrassment. And based on this, maybe you can see what I mean. You’re good the way you are.
Try to release your pain. Channel it into your art because it will always, always, always be part of you. And if you can understand and embrace this, if you can learn to celebrate it rather than trying to get to a feeling state that will never exist for you (and may not exist at all), I think you'll see things ease. You’re an artist, maaan. I’m sorry.
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