The other day I found myself perpetually bored. I was working on a website. I love coming up with great copy, but I was working on extracting information for the website, not the copy.
A couple of years ago, when I was generally working on much more boring assignments and feeling much more creatively frustrated, as I hadn’t even touched a movie in years, nor directed a play, and was more than a little bit stuck with Magique (which I have since then managed to move forward with at snail pace — not how I envisioned it coming together, but after running around in circles walking in a straight line is rather delightful), I decided to live as much as I could in the moment. So I started drawing and writing poetry again, because it was instant creative gratification. I also became obsessive with doing what I could within my means instead of cursing what I couldn’t do.
Two years later, my life looks entirely different. Every day now, I make a conscious choice to focus on what’s working, as opposed to what isn’t. Apart from on days when I’m perpetually bored, that is. I have my weaknesses, including a fondness for challenging adventures and when they don’t abound I may get a tad bored.
Anyway, I was working on this website (still am) and it occurred to me how sexy people are who live their dreams as I was reminded of a conversation where someone told me someone else was living their dream and I immediately found them ten times more attractive.
Some people confuse their ego with their dreams — goals such as owning a five storey mansion aren’t exactly what I call dreams. Living your dreams means doing what you love, with the people you love, in a place you love. Dreams aren’t supposed to be about proving something, but about living.
Which brings me to my point. Are you living? Or are you just doing what you think is necessary to survive? Are you passionate, or walking around like a robot, hoping that the next episode on Netflix of whatever series you love will rejuvenate you, or the next drink will give you some respite? Or maybe just the next vacation?
The thing is, it can feel frustrating — you may be working on saving up to move to Thailand, so because of that you still work a job you hate. Or you may dream of running a hotel, but you’re working as an accountant and have no clue how to get from A to B. That’s when you need to start small — find something right here and right now that makes you live a little. No, it may not be that big shiny dream, but it will still be something that makes you come alive. Like my charcoal drawings and poetry, as well as walking at snail pace in a straight line with Magique, made me do. It wasn’t how I envisioned living my creativity (I tend to think big…), but it restarted my fire.
I also think that living one’s dreams is a lot about stepping out of one’s comfort zone. When fear dictates us we become cowards. The problem, of course, being that half the time we don’t even realize that the choices we make are so as to avoid something. It wasn’t until I overcame my paranoia about drawing the imperfect drawing that I started drawing again. And it wasn’t until I overcame my idea about “go big or go home” that I started to get a hang of Magique. I’m sitting on a gazillion products I developed that I can’t sell because I don’t have the money to put them on the market. I had to totally downscale.
I find it a lot sexier when people are living their dreams, than when they pay their bills and own a hedgefund, but have lost their sense of play and adventure. I’m also a sucker for intelligence and kindness. Yet, I fret when I meet new people thinking they’ll think I’m a loony bin, because my life, according to the nine to five standard, is so far from perfect. It’s more like a whirlwind.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when we look upon ourselves, or the dreams we have, we want them to be perfect. We dont’ want to paint one acrylic painting a week if we dream of becoming an artist. No, we want to paint using oil, from morning till night. Only we have a day job and can only afford to buy acrylics and spend enough time to paint one painting per week. So we don’t do anything at all.
And when we meet new people we want to be that painter who has it all, including success. But life’s a journey. And what we fall for in other people isn’t perfection, but those little things that set our soul on fire. Those things we just tend to love about people. We all have our own favorite flavors. And one of mine happens to be people who live their dreams.
Are you living your dreams?
Are you conquering your fears?
Are you living beyond your comfort zone?
And maybe, as Oscar Wilde said, anyone living within their means lack imagination — so are you living beyond your means? Are you inventive with what you have?
For some reason I still think that being an artist means having an apartment in Paris, where you paint half-naked people and drink wine. While eating cheese. Naturally.