Dear Fellow Creative,
I don't think I need to tell you that you and I didn't pick an easy career. Sometimes, in fact, it doesn't quite feel like a career at all. Sometimes, it's easy to feel like a fraud. It's hard to know if you're fooling yourself or others.
It seems every few months I have a minor freak out that has me asking "What the f**k am I doing?" Maybe it's because I am approaching 30. Maybe it's because I see bills piling up. Or perhaps it's because of the fact that I have the flu right now and I am reminded, once again, that I don't health care.
I arrived in New York last week to check out the art fairs going on in the city. Days before I was to return home to California, the flu and a double ear infection hit me like a ton of bricks. Not wanting to risk rupturing an eardrum on the flight (because again, no health care), I've been hiding out at my in-laws apartment in the East Village for the past week. I have severe cabin fever. It has begun to feel like every bare wall in this apartment is a blank screen to project my questions and fears onto. It taunts me day in and day out.
Each morning this week, I've found myself leaning against the window pane while eating breakfast. I look down on New York from the 15th floor and see hundreds of people that look like ants. It's a mad rush to hop into cabs, get on a bus and file into the subway. All are headed to work. All are doing the 9-5.
If you're an artist, the concept of the 9-5 can represent an inner struggle. For a creative whose work has yet to become their full time job, it is a constant struggle to know if you, too, should join the mad dash each morning. Yet, when I find myself looking at job ads, something inside of me says "Don't look just yet..."
I sit here tonight and think of my fellow creatives. I may not know you by name, but I know you're out there. I picture you, also having a sleepless night, combing your mind for answers and chained to the question "What the f**k am I doing?" It's hard to go against the grain. Know that your determination to remain true to your calling, and your courage to do so, helps me, and many others sleep tonight. It's like that Fridaa Kahlo quote:
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do." ~ Frida Kahlo,
Tomorrow I'll finally leave the apartment and break my cabin fever. I will blend in with rush hour foot traffic. I, too, will look like a small ant darting around the city. No doubt I will find myself questioning "What the f*ck am I doing?", but then again, as an artist, maybe that's just part of the job description.