There’s an excellent person that I work with called Chris Watson, and recently he told me that he started a blog. Firstly let me quantify why he’s ‘excellent’: because he’s a great writer and has hundreds of ideas, but he’s also quiet in his talents, and supportive to all walks of life. An ideal creative. In a slightly intoxicated conversation I confessed to him that I also wrote, and shared this blog with him. He smiled and said, ‘you dance, you write, what else do you do?’ – and I responded in an embarrassing way, citing the qualifications that allowed me to play in this world of creativity. Degrees in literature and writing, and courses in art and visual communications. The only reason why I did this was clearly because I felt I needed to justify why I had the right to write. But no one needs permission, everyone has the right.
The overarching thought to Chris’s blog was to ‘be more’. In other words be more proactive, or make more of your life. Do more things. And I couldn’t agree more.
‘Be more’ is quite close to this blog’s overarching thought of ‘being actively curious’. For me the ‘being’ part describes the awareness and the initiative to do something, the actively does initiative but also touches on my philosophy of how physicality does have a real impact on my life, and curious is all about striving to constantly learn and ask questions. That way you learn not to judge as you know there’s always a side to things that you just don’t know, you end up diminishing ‘ego’ (for me one of the roots of a lot of evil) because you relinquish the idea of ‘id’ and you keep learning through out your life.
I’ve touched on staying curious in my post on buddhism previously, but in this post I wanted to talk about the being ‘active’ in a literal way. Chris was right, I do a lot, but I also think that my generation (and the ones that come after), faces lots more choices and opportunities than previous ones. For example, the half and half pizza is a staple on any pizzeria menu these days. Not only do you get to create your own pizza, you get two on one base. We’re getting increasingly used to an abundance of choice, and to compartmentalising and dividing our lives. So why not our careers?
My latest breakthrough in soul searching – which is the whole reason why I started this blog in the first place – is that I need to ‘half and half’ my career. Or better yet: third, third, third it. Two thirds in freelance (editorial writing and illustration) and a third in something like dance fitness. This thought is a mere zygote in my head at the moment, so I am not sure it will survive gestation. But I feel I have been headed towards this type of life for a while. Evidence of this can be seen through my facebook cover pictures: during dance/active periods of my life, they usually are colourful and dance based images, and recently I changed my cover picture to one of my illies, in the effort to focus on this driver in my life.
The scariest part is this question: how do you pursue a new dream when you have something good in your pocket already? Would you let go of something good in the hopes to get something better – especially when there’s no guarantee you’d get it? I know I can get somewhere in the job that I am in, I can work my way up the advertising ladder with time and perseverance, and I understand what is required of me. The world of starting fresh as a freelance columnist / illustrator / dancefitness instructor is completely new to me, and I have no idea how to navigate success or even just a path in it.
Let’s face it, I’m a born and bred south east Asian child, and it’s fully against my nature to risk security for a dream. So even though I advocate having ‘balls’, I myself am ball-less.
Earlier this year I approached a publishing contact I have to say I could do some pro bono editorial illustrations for them, and they said send through some examples. I still haven’t (being ball-less and all). Time to do something different, as Einstein says, ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’