Do creative people choose to create, or do they need to create?
I have been asking this question of myself recently, although subconsciously I have probably always been asking it. I have recently taken up listening to podcasts lately at work to get me through the work day. I have grown bored of listening to the same songs being repeated over the radio and have given up the argument over which station to listen to with a particular person at work. So I just put on my headphones, listen to whatever music I choose to play or listen to conversations that intrigue me. Only three of us work here and not always at the same time, which suits me because I would hate to work in large busy environment, the work here is bearable, but it is a job of convenience and I do get bored. So I start listening to podcasts from Joe Rogan, a comedian, martial artist, UFC colour commentator, conspiracy enthusiast, all round nice guy who likes to talk to interesting people. Which contributes to having one of the most popular podcasts in the world. The guy is living the dream and living how he wants to live his life with a great balance, which is something I wish everyone could do.
So here I am at work and scroll through some of the guests he has had on and come across Henry Rollins, former punk musician, now an actor, activist, author among other things. Listening to these guys talking I must admit can make you envious, though that is not their intention, because they seem to have life down. Both of them earning a decent living doing exactly what they want to do in life. By their own admission, its part luck, location but that is probably modesty, they took a shot and saw it through and the result is a content life. Listening to these guys really spurred me to want to write this particular blog. Check out the podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruN9DY6Oaw4
It is when they talk about their pasts that really intrigued me, as they spoke about not enjoying schools, not being popular, then that lead to low income jobs, hating work and the basic routine of life, but something popped and made sense for these guys at the right time in their lives and the rest is history. It was in the listening of their stories that I saw a lot of parallels to my own personality in younger life and even today, just without the success. The problem in my own personal experiences is I never figured out what I had a passion or dare I say talent for until much later in life, so never had a clear target to shoot for. Instead I was so desperate to get out of the grind of day to day life and work routine, I joined the armed forces… doh! Within which I ended up even deeper into all the things I despised. Lesson learned I guess, bit late in the end, but there you go.
However I was always artistic as a child. I loved to draw and loved music, that much I did know. But growing up, it was never a career choice anyone would have steered to towards in the 80s/90s. So I went to school, which I can promise I hated from the day I started to the day I left. Left with academically very little, well into working in a leisure center down the road, which led to further frustration and then the armed forces. I liked and still do like fitness and was heavily involved in martial arts, which unfortunately fell by the wayside when I joined the forces along with the guitar I bought a few months earlier.
I left the armed forces in a very different state of mind than when I joined, it look a while to pick up the pieces with the help from my wife and soul mate Lisa, but I can say that finally learning how to play that guitar and realising that I could sing was what helped. It was the best therapy. Now I do have to work a 9-5 job to support my family, that is just life, and if I am honest, it does drive me crazy from time to time. The routine, the pay, all of it. Not that it is the worst place in the world to work, not by a stretch. But it can make me low. Not as low however as it would if I did not have an out let.
So I perform, I play in bands, I busk and play anywhere they will have me. I also write and draw. I feel I do not only do this just out of enjoyment, I think it is a necessity. Along with other factors such as spending time with my family, exercise etc. I feel trapped and repressed when I am stuck from 9-5 in that working environment. It frustrates me because the majority of my day is spent doing things I really do not want to or cant be bothered doing. I feel like time is stolen from me when I think of the things I could be doing in those 9 hours. I know there will be the other side of people out there who love there jobs and when they end up retiring do not know what to do with themselves, or who go to work to escape their home lives and would rather be at work. Those people may be reading this and saying “suck it up you cry baby”. Sorry but I cant help how I feel and that it what I believe sets apart the creatives to the non creative types. You know what my life ambition is? To retire at a relatively young age.
How can you be expected to know what you want to do a young age. At the time of writing this, I am 36, still do not know. Unless I discover a way to earn a living spending time with my family, playing music or drawing I guess I am a bit stuck for now, trust me though, I am always working on it. I will say this though, if you are young enough, do not yet have commitments and have even the slightest inclination of what you would enjoy to do in life. My advise, ignore the nay sayers, do your research and get out and do it, you may not get rich and famous, but I am sure you would settle with being content. Truth be told, the most interesting people in life were not necessarily the most academic in school, or the athletic popular kids. Nine times out of ten they were the shy awkward kid that was not very popular, but I am sure they were one thing… creative.