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waiting too long

December 23, 2014

At some point, I should probably figure out how I feel about Kickstarter / Indiegogo / Patreon, but today is not that day. However, thinking about those entities for the last few days has brought me back around to one of the central organizing principles of my life —

No one will ever pay me to do the stuff I really want to do.

That’s what I thought 30 years ago, when my dad kept saying that everyone could have a job that they liked; they just needed to try hard enough to find it.

All the years I was working, and was functionally creatively blocked, I felt trapped in a day job system, because I couldn’t imagine an alternative.

Starting my own business didn’t pan out. But even if it had, copyediting other people’s words would not qualify as “the stuff I really want to do”. I can be good at it, in small doses I enjoy doing it, but as a full-time job? My heart’s not in it.

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The closer I get to being able to do what I really want to do, the more impossibly far away it seems. I’m not just waiting for something (unknown); I’m stuck. But what is holding me fast?

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Some part of me is the toddler in love with life that I was in 1968. Exploring every inch of my environment with boundless curiosity, then running back to tell my mother all about it. She wasn’t interested. She was busy. My baby brother was taking a lot of her time. She wasn’t happy.

In her mind, I was supposed to be her audience. I was supposed to make her feel better. And when she couldn’t be soothed, I was of no consequence. I could be ignored like a doll on a shelf until she wanted companionship once again.

I enjoyed spending time with each of my mother’s parents, for very different reasons. But the interests I shared with them, were their own first.

When I discovered my own interests, things that had no analog with people I knew, no one cared. No one wanted to hear what I’d learned, unearthed, explored, drew, painted, created, invented, experimented with, . . .

If I wasn’t reflecting back what was already within them, it was noise. It didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.

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Spouse is very unlike my parents, thank all the gods. However, I’m process oriented and, like them, he isn’t. I often don’t care nearly as much about the end results of whatever I’m working on, as the always fascinating ways I engage with my materials, my ideas, my imagination.

I recognize that my small child-self asked my parents lots of questions they couldn’t answer, and didn’t want to bother with learning about. They bought me books instead! They took me to the library!

I learned more and more interesting things. That I couldn’t share with anybody because no one cared. The bigger my vocabulary got and the more complex ideas I wanted to grapple with, the less I had in common with children my own age. Which sent me back to books as friends. I also had imaginary friends.

In my formative years, the neighbor boy who was my best friend had almost no social skills, but his parents’ basement was practically a library, full of cool books (most of which I never got enough time with). His family had a cat. They had a climb-able tree in their backyard, where I liked to read, or watch birds. And C himself didn’t mind terribly much when I talked at him. He probably wasn’t actually listening, but he never told me to shut up. He never walked away midsentence. He never made fun of me. He was almost as good a friend as my imaginary friends, but they actually liked me.

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All these crowdfunding sites help people put work out into the world that (in theory, anyway) someone is already interested in.

People all over the world have read this blog. But no one I know offline both reads my blog and has any interest in what I talk about here. Not even Spouse.

I can understand not really caring about someone else’s night-dreams. But when I’ve done creative projects, no one cares about those either. When I grapple with philosophy, or ecology, or any other weighty subject, no one cares.

No one who knows me has ever asked me to write more. Or make more. Discover more. Invent more.

Over the course of my life, including periods during which I was (what I thought of as) ‘creatively blocked’, I’ve produced more expressive works of art, in more media, than anyone else I know.

No family member or friend has ever asked to see any of it. I’ve shown some of it to people anyway, because I was really excited and proud of it. People were polite, usually, but not interested.

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All of that disinterest, indifference has been directed at things that I mostly spontaneously worked on. No great plan, nothing comprehensive.

Nothing, I now realize, that really truly deeply mattered.

All this time, I’ve been . . . searching for someone who’s interested in the spontaneous stuff. Because who else could I trust with encouraging me to do the stuff that really matters?

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I have no answers. I’ve been struggling with this all my life. I don’t know how to resolve this.

But I do know that the stuff I really want to do . . . is waiting for me to do it. I want to do it. And I am going to do it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 28, 2014 15:19

    I loved reading your blog. I recently started writing a blog myself about how I found my way home. It’s about my journey and how I had to let go of what was expected to be free to be me. It sounds like your moving your life towards finding and doing your deepest desire. Fantastic!!! If you’ve not heard this in a while I’m going to tell you. You’re an amazing phenomenal person with the power of the universe with.
    On my journey I’ve found that each of us are here to experience life and to our deepest desire. Somewhere in our childhood we are either encouraged, discouraged or neither in our quest. Which ever one happens can either cause that which we are to awaken or sleep but it is never killed. I’m so happy to hear that you never stopped seeking although it appeared that you were ignored. What was really happening was you were discovering what your deepest desire was. You got to explore without outside influences trying to mold your dreams. Keep your vision right in front of you and speak it (if only to yourself because those that aren’t in alignment can’t share it) believe it and moving in your vibration. This is your time!!! I’m routing for you, for this is the time of awakening. Never fear, never give in and never let the noise of other keep you from being who you desire to be. Check out my blog some time if you desire.
    Peacefully,
    Nkiru
    unconditionallyu@wordpress.com

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