What I love about art, is the process. The process of choosing. It feels like the only job I have experienced where it feels fantastic to be honest. It’s a job where the point of being someone else is ridiculous. Why choose art as a career if you are just going to copy someone else’s ideas for a living? The experience of being overtly honest has some upside and downside. The upside is that it can be a spiritually freeing experience to dump your passion into something that gives back to you via confession. You don’t find yourself feeling stymied because you expressed “your” opinion. It’s the only job I know where I feel comfortable taking off all my clothes hypothetically speaking to start my work day. I can start my day by choosing to expose my most vulnerable me. In the vulnerable me lies perhaps the awaking of something new, something not heard of, not seen before, not even created until you put yourself in front of the canvas mirror. The joy and the fear all bundled in the same unescapable moment.
Then there is the downside of course. The Accumulation of You. The stuff you just can’t let go of. The sentimental stuff you call You. The heavy weighted expression of you. The hoarding of you, the person you “think” you have to be in order to achieve your life goals. I’m so happy that I am finally confessing to the fact that I am in the business of art and dreaming and all the fantastic things that come along with a creative lifestyle. Yet, I have learned some bad habits from the world I have hidden in for so many years in the computer field. I recall a recent discussion with a co-worker where I simply asked is there anything I can do to be a better supportive co-worker. If I can paraphrase, His response was that he wanted me to know that what I do is fine, what would be nice is if I could do what I do without being so much of “me”. As if to say, everything is great except if you could just not be “you” it would be perfect!
So, to be clear about what he had just said, I paraphrased what I just said to him when I heard the conversation go straight to silence-mail. I felt, I guess he is serious! I pondered this for a little while as two things struck me in an emotional way. (1). How do I go about not being me and (2). What was he really saying when he asked me not to be me? Was this an insult? As an artist I thought, “hey this is the essence of what I do and I have to create!” This comes from a sense of who I am in a most creative and unique way. That’s like saying don’t be your usual creative self! Then, I let go of that thought to entertain the 2nd view which just appeared to be an insult in a round about way. Yet, I experienced something about me in that moment that I had not in a long time… the accumulation of me. That which shows up (me) has a lot to do about my position more than it does about being (experiencing) in the moment. I could see that from his point of view I may have looked more like “me” the “accumulation of things”, “the way I have hidden behind the stuff”, rather than own up to just the simplification of me. The person who can show up with absolutely no attachments. Truly naked and vulnerable and willing to reinvent who I am this very moment for lack of attachments or the notion of the picture of who I paint I am. I believe what he was seeing was all the “stuff” I have accumulated in life that makes me who I am and all the conversation about me being supportive was hard to see with all the “stuff” or “things” I “hoard” seeping out the other side of my philosophical mouth. This was an experience of “me” in my supportive chant.
Having to give up who I am… What’s so bad about that? What’s so big of an investment that I feel I can’t reboot or start over? What I am actually doing now is a complete reboot anyway. I have been in the computer field for the last 35 years and I want to finally do what really speaks to me without an accumulation of pre-fabricated thinking I call “me”. Would it truly hurt so badly to not be me all the time?