I’ve spent the last couple of weeks, while still working on projects and doing art and design, in a bit of a lost sense. I’m not sure why, but I’ve reached a bit of a crossroads with the world. Almost like this long, perceived journey is about to take on a different tact since the end of the last job.
But the more I think of it, the end of the last job isn’t exactly it either. Sure, being laid off from regular employment means many things, not the least of which is a distinct lack of funding. Not to mention that being laid off gives you a certain feeling of uselessness. A feeling that, no matter how well you do what you do, no matter how you’ve changed things for people to make them so much better, in the long run you have no real worth to them.
Really though, the end of the last job was just the pull of the leg underwater. One hopes they made a good last gasp of air, and I think over the last (nearly) two months it’s become apparent that I didn’t take a deep enough breath.
Thinking further on it though, I think I’m being short sighted. This long journey neither started at the job loss, and it certainly didn’t end there.
It started many, many years ago. When I was just a boy. Back with the first idea.
So many years ago, I only wanted one thing in all the world. To be a writer. Not an artist actually, in fact I didn’t pick up on being an artist until I was in college, and had no real first piece of art until I was 25 years old.
I wanted to create worlds that people could live in. I wanted to create experiences that they could tell the world about. I wanted to move them.
Eventually, life interfered, and I left the keyboard and picked up the pen. A switch, but not an ending. Something that I need to keep in mind now.
I think for the last two months my brain has been set to “endings” and “beginnings”, as if this journey is giving way to something else. That’s not only untrue, it’s unfaithful to the idea I had so long ago. Not to just create a world, not to just paint the fancy pictures, but to truly move someone.
The shock of being laid off, of essentially being told that you aren’t valuable enough or good enough to keep, is rough. It’s very difficult to get up in the morning, sending resume after resume, seeing that you’re aren’t good enough for anyone to notice. Marketing post after post of my artwork to little or no response.
That right there is the real problem: concentrating on the bad and not the good. I’ve been solicited to do more work for great publishers. My short story on Shotgun Honey, my very first ever published, received good reviews. I can see vast improvements in my ink work, far stronger than my original inks a decade ago.
This journey neither started nor ended with the horrible situation that began March 1. It’s just another part of the path, another fork in the road that I’ve gone down. Even though I was forced to take the path, it doesn’t mean I have to follow it a certain way. I’ve taken my eye off the prize, I am unbalanced in my choices.
I need to change that, to put aside what has happened and continue on the road.
The other night, my family and I watched Batman Begins again, though the first time for my young daughter (who, like her brother before her, thought the Scarecrow scenes were awesome). Something stuck in my head from that, something that is relevant here.
“Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”
I’ve spent the last two months, probably even before that, wallowing in the dark. Wandering without a sense of who I am or who I want to be. But this journey started a long time ago, and, bumpy as the road can be, it’s time to wipe the blood off my face and get back to it.
It’s time, as they say, to right the ship.