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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nothing In Life Is Worth Pursuing Without Being Paid


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all.
Welcome to what, you may ask?
First on the agenda is a statement of "congratulations" because we have made it as generations, as cultures, and as people in general.
We have made it to exactly where we didn't want to be.

I have this idea in my head which has existed there since I was a little kid, and even with the age of thirty creeping closer and closer, this image still lingers and gives me motivation.  The story inside my fantasy shows a guy who works hard at a job and maintains a fairly comfortable life, but to him the noun is also the descriptor.  This man views his job as something he does to make money and sustain himself, but everyday he goes home, spending tireless hours trying to perfect his craft for the love of having such a gift.  Eventually, the lay worker and after-hours pursuer of passion becomes the hero, his love becomes his job, and life is perfect.
So, what's the problem?
I don't see it anymore - from practically anyone.

My dad grew up on a farm to the extent that farming was the only education his parents ever really had.  After graduating from high school, he worked in a warehouse and he retained that same job for the majority of my childhood.  Most people would have looked at him back then and just assumed he would live that job title for the rest of his life, but that's not what I saw growing up.  The person I saw worked hard at a warehouse everyday, then came home to build furniture in a shop the size of a shoebox until he was too tired to keep going.  This was what I knew as a kid.  This was the example I was given of what the word "work" meant.  

Yes, he did get out of his warehouse job when I was a teenager and started a small business installing trim and crown moulding which dissolved before I graduated high school, but you know what?  He was still in his shop, building furniture because he loved it.  Yes, he made a little money from his skill, but the time he put into those pieces was worth more than the sparse amount of income it generated.  During my first year of college, though he started building a real shop and began slowly filling it up with the tools he had dreamed of owning while creating pieces in his little shack of a workshop over the previous decades.  

My dad turned sixty years old last October.  He only finished building his cabinet shop eight years ago, but you know what?  It's his cabinet shop and a result of all of those years he spent knowing he could do better.  Wealth wasn't what he was after and that still hasn't been a result of his labors, but happiness and purpose is the definition of success for him.  

The problem is, I don't see this anymore;  this definition of "work" my sister and I were taught growing up.  I see intelligent people refusing to wake up and explore what they are.  Actually, I hear people talking all the time about how they are going to be something or go somewhere or how they will "find" a meaningful job "sometime".  Yet, instead of working themselves ragged while chasing down their real passions, they shut down after leaving the office, the restaurant, or the school for the day.  It's like we have developed this mentality of complacency with whatever it is we are doing in that very moment.  It's as if when we leave our jobs for the day, we turn off a switch to our brains that controls the effort put into the remainder of the day.  I mean, why would you want to do anything else productive when you can drink, watch trashy television, or hang out with meaningless acquaintances  who probably talk about you behind your back?
What.  The.  Actual.  Hell?

As I said before, I have this fantasy in my head that the people I hear complaining about their jobs, lives, addictions, or other situations are working hard and tirelessly everyday to make something better of themselves.  The reality I have found is that, instead, practically everyone would rather just settle into complacency.  They still talk as if they're doing big things though, but I have a very strong ear when it comes to the identification of an untruthful ego.  It seems like the more talking people do in regards to their movement in life, the less moves they are actually making.  
Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

You see, the truth is that so many of us would rather live an appearance than an actual life.  We like to make posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so people notice us for the things that practically everyone does on a daily basis instead of trying to figure out our own unique passions and showing the world our real-life devotion to them.
You know, something interesting?

Everyone has a skill and everyone has a passion, but we've fallen into the stupid realm of complacent settling so deeply within our lives that we don't take enough time to explore them.  Passions are work - period.
Am I saying that you'll one day be in a position to turn your skills and passions into an income?
No, not at all.  Most people can't accomplish that, but I guarantee you'll be more fulfilled as a person if you actually take them time to maintain the devotion.  Just don't wait until your world starts falling apart before taking said time to act and chase them down.

Seeing my dad work so hard the entire time I was growing up and finally build the shop he had always envisioned is a large part of the reason I write so much now.  He set a goal and achieved it.  I'm sure he would have found a way to build his shop by now even if he were still working in that warehouse, because that's the sort of person he is.  This is the same approach I take to my writing.  I may not ever make a living as a writer, but that doesn't mean I am going to slack in my education and pursuit of the personal happiness I only get while typing words onto a page.
This is me.
This is how I was taught to work.
I die happy if I reach one person or a million.

If you're not making moves, shut up and move out of the way.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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