I don’t like pain. I don’t think anyone does, except well…those people. It’s our nature to shy away from any thing that hurts and move to a state of ease and calm. But pain is a part of being alive, and so is discomfort. Discomfort is pain, but dialed down. It’s not loud enough to jolt us into rapid action, but it’s persistent enough to be annoying.
Discomfort comes in a million forms, I’ll only write my latest experience with it. I’ve been living under a cloud of angst for the past few days, maybe it’s actually weeks. I felt empty. Nothing on earth was appealing to me. The creative well along with the general zest for life seemed to have evaporated.
For a large part of the year, and more so in the last month I’ve been complaining about work. Specifically, dealing with clients. As a freelancer I am bound by the caprices of clients, hours can be quite erratic. Some clients make unreasonable demands, others just want what they want which leaves me creatively frustrated. I found myself in the situation of wanting to explore more creative avenues, techniques, experiment with styles and so on, but the bulk of my clients are pretty much set in what they like and what they find appealing. So everyday I sit down to work, and I churn out the same shit in slightly different dressing. It gets depressing.
So the spark disappeared. I don’t even want to look at design inspiration because everything looks the same. Everything seems depressing, nothing is exciting, nothing is groundbreaking, nothing is daring. Just a lot of cliche, just the status quo and just a lot of people talking and few people really thinking.
Reading ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson doesn’t make it any easier. I feel like a sell-out. I wake up in the morning and I wonder to myself, “What the hell am I doing? This man did some pretty amazing things. What am I doing?!”
It’s difficult living life on your terms not because it’s actually hard. It’s the issue of choice that gets problematic. Having to take your life in your hands and decide what moves to make, what to focus on, how to strategize and create the life you want to live…and having to do this daily.
So the one thing that has been foremost on my mind for the past month has been this – I don’t know what to do.
I do know what I want to do, on a large philosophical overarching scale. I just have no idea how to get there. I have no idea exactly what to do next. I have ideas, I have stuff written down, I could do any of them. I just don’t feel the fire for any of them.
What am I waiting for? Some burst of passion? I want to be all pumped and excited. How do I get it? Do I just sit and wait on it to come to me? I’ve been trying that…it hasn’t quite worked out yet.
I woke up this morning and felt a bit sorry for myself. Then I thought to myself, “Get off your back and work your ass off, just immerse yourself fully in work, lose yourself in it” Yes, I’m not sure what exactly to do next, Yes, I’m worried that today, I’ll do work like I’ve done before and feel like I’m doing nothing creative or special. But I will dive in and fight with all I have to come out of it somehow. I will chase that fickle muse until she succumbs to me.
As much as we would love life to be all rose and fireworks, as much as I would like to be fired up every single day. It’s just not always like that. Sometimes you just have to soldier up and run into the war and by the sheer force of will, take no prisoners. Do what you must.
If I want to do very creative/experimental work and my clients don’t want it. I’ll do it anyway and post it up here until I find someone who appreciates it. If no one likes it anyway, whatever…I did it for me.
I still don’t know what exactly to do next, so I decided that to turn my efforts into mastering my current position. I will do all I want to do, I will experiment with new techniques, software, I will blog, I will rework my ideas for a street wear range, I will read a lot. Essentially, I’ll just work my ass off on what I know right now, and trust that the path will clear up as I go along.