Today is one of those days that I wake up wondering how my life might have been different if I had been born into a different family. Instead of a life steeped in the arts, with lots of leisure time, time to think, ponder and procrastinate, I could have been born into a family that believed that being in the arts was no way to live, much less raise a family. I might have had to actually work in school, choose a “career” instead of a passion, go to work everyday, come home with a paycheck. Okay, that last one is not so bad. But no, I was born into a family of dreamers, people with a modicum of common sense and a lot of fascination with music, art, dance and theater.
I tried to work in the real world a couple of times. I started my work career in high school by being a “soda jerk”. (Am I dating myself with that term?) I was hired by a friend of the family, a woman who was the unofficial mayor of the town, who thought that feeding her employees hot fudge sundaes was much better than making lots of money with her coffee shop/ice-cream parlor. I quickly found out that I don’t have the brain to work in a food career. More than once, the coffee got made without a pot (messy) or filter (uh…). I didn’t like cleaning (still don’t) and didn’t care for making weird concoctions like egg creams. But I did enjoy seeing the town regulars every Saturday morning, including my father who believed that his status in town grew because his daughter worked for Anna.
My next gig was a short term stint at Foot Locker. This was back before the days of computerized everything (think “Top Gun”…it came out that year) and I had to punch all the numbers into the cash register by hand. My boss was an amazing shoe salesman, mostly because of his personality. I soon realized I didn’t have the brain for that type of work either. More than once I “short-sheeted” a customer by forgetting to take the paper out of the toes of the shoes.
After I got my master’s degree in dance-movement therapy (if you can’t find a job, get more education, right?) I got a part-time job at a local community mental health center trying to help people who were trying to live in the “real world”. I spent two years there knowing I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing and hoping nobody would find out. Of course I was still young and stupid and hadn’t learned the idea that if you don’t know something, just ask…nobody expects you to know everything right off the bat. duh.
It was then that I started transitioning to my true life. I picked up some polymer clay while visiting my sister in Seattle. I started playing with it, made some cool earrings, people liked them, bought them and, well, the rest…(something about history?)
Fast forward to today. I am an artist. I have work around the country, I work in my studio almost everyday. I was excited about working today until I got in the studio and realized that nothing was going to be easy. Actually, if I’m honest with myself, it is all relatively easy, I just don’t want to work. There. I said it. Today, I don’t want to work. I feel muddled in my brain, unable to deal with the myriad of steps that are required to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. Even posting this picture proved tough for me, I had to choose which way it goes. I sent it spinning around at least twice before I thought “Oh, good grief…it’s a picture…just post it already”.
This is why I sometimes wonder how I would have been in the real world. I have so many days like this, where if I were making a pot of coffee, the filter would definitely be left (full of grounds) on the counter while I happily poured the water in. God forbid I should be in charge of something REALLY important. I give thanks that those jobs are held by people who are a little less brain dead than I am…at least I hope they are.