So I’ve entered into a pretty scary place recently. After a few sales/marketing job interviews, I was at my witts end. I felt like my back was against the wall against mediocrity and conformity, and only I could save myself. There was no way I could have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to get paid like I graduated college, yet also keep the self-expressive, spontaneous, child-like sense of wonder and creativity as the tabernacle of my consciousness. It was one or the other, as the interview and job demands pointed out. Whether real or perceived, I felt the pressure to align, to keep all weird parts of me to myself, to ‘turn off’ in the Learyan sense and SELL!
Now I’m not saying at ALL that objectively this is how it is in Sales/Marketing careers, just how my experience felt. But when one has these thoughts, when I feel a sense deep inside that I have much more to give than 200 calls a day, Can I really ignore them? If I was father to a young child, would I tell them to ignore their dreams? Is it so naive to think that people can connect deeply to what I create? That my weirdness should be expressed in the hopes that someone becomes inspired to show their weirdness as well? There has been a constant battle tying to reconcile whether these thoughts are valid, or that everyone has them and that I should put them away in return for perceived safety and security. It’s weird that the decision is always easy until I give a good think about my future, about being an old man, about raising a family, and how all of these events cost a shitload of money. The difference between the two is obviously financial security. At that point the question beckons…
Can my dreams be bought? Can a hefty paycheck, health insurance, 401k really make your dreams simply go away? Do I want to be the wealthy old man with the empty smile, haunted by what could have been? Or is it worth the risk of being the old man who struggles financially but smiles every time he catches his eye in a mirror, knowing he took the risk and followed his own path no matter what? Ultimately I would like to be the wealthy old man with the rich smile who got paid for sharing his dream with the world, but fortunately and unfortunately, the only way to get there is by first taking the risk.
Wish me luck.
Photograph by Ian Culley