*This, my dear, deprived audience, was written not long after I moved, so like around three weeks ago. It's been sitting on my desktop with a few other files waiting for your voracious eyes.*
Hello, theoretical readers.
As I was on my way home today, beginning to roughly compose this post, I was originally planning on starting with an explanation of my sleep and internet deprivation, but then I went on a mental tangent, and now I feel the need for a sentimental side note.
I don't think you guys have any idea how much it actually means to me that I'm actually growing a real audience. Not so much on my blog, but as an artist aspiring to professional art, it makes me ecstatic to know that people not only like my work but actually want to see more of it. Every single Favorite, upvote, share, bookmark, like, and comment is a victory for the part of me that keeps insisting that maybe I could actually do this. So thanks for that, guys. You don't hear about me celebrating the number of followers I have (unless you've heard about my newly founded religion, that is), or being excited about my pageviews, but I totally do, so thanks for that, those of you who I know and those I don't. Almost more you guys, because you have no obligation to be supportive and you don't already love me as the shiny human thing I am.
Anyway, now that rubbish is out of the way and can't be unsaid (I say while typing in an unsaved document without internet), on to the actual ranting you guys really come here to read!
As previously mentioned, I was driving home from work today, and for at least half the drive, I was behind this guy with a bumper sticker that said, “I'd rather be riding my Harley Davidson” with the logo and all that nonsense.
Every single time I see those horrible bumper stickers—“I'd rather be running, biking, swimming, kayaking, fishing, etc” (Can we tell I live near the mountains?)— I mentally scream, “No you wouldn't, dickhole! If you would actually rather be biking, you wouldn't be driving that douchey SUV!” Because they could be biking. That is a perfectly feasible way to travel in the city for like half the year. Even for things like rock-climbing, I still say “You could be.” No, you can't always be a responsible human being and only do the things you want to do all the time, but you also have the option to be be irresponsible and awesome.
Like many things, this annoyance translated to a larger issue in my head; very frequently, I hear people say “Oh, I wish I could do ____,” and my usual response is “So do it,” even to things like “I wish I could be a professional silk dancer in the circus,” or “I wish I lived in a house-boat,” or “I wish I could build a hover car.” Because usually what prevents people from doing those things, even the awesome ones like putting a ball pit trampoline room in their basements, is something as stupidly simple as that they just aren't willing to pursue it.
It's not a hugely complicated idea to pursue doing what you want to do. Yes, in practice, maybe it's a little (or a lot) more difficult to make a living as a professional Netflix Browser, but a lot of how possible that actually is depends on ow much work you're willing to put into it and how dedicated you are to making it happen. And I say that as someone who hopes to make my living by playing with paint and pens and tattoo equipment and computers.
It's like reading. I can't describe to you how cool it sounds to get paid for reading. In one of my recently favorite moves About Time, the protagonist's future wife tells him that she's a reader for a publishing house, and he says something like, “No. That's like saying, 'what do you do?' 'Oh, I'm a breather. I breathe for a living,'” and that's kind of how I feel about that idea. BUT I haven't gone around to publishers asking about becoming a reader or an editor, and do you know why? Apart from all of the inevitable disappointments and mountains of crap you'd have to read through, it's mostly because I haven't decided to do that and then taken steps to make that a reality.
Yes, biking to your job twelve miles away from where you live is going to be tiring and time-consuming and sweaty, but you could do it if you were willing to put in the work. And that's my problem, dear children. THEY DON'T ACTUALLY WANT TO.
Don't say you'd rather be doing something you aren't even trying to do. Either put your money and time and effort where your mouth is, or stop bitching that you want something else.
This is something I've definitely been learning for myself lately, and it's both awesome and frustrating. The days that I don't want to drive all the way down to the tattoo shop to sit and watch and talk and ask questions, or when the juices aren't flowing and I don't want to draw something crappy and uninspired, are the days that I put on my grownup voice that I use to ask small children if they want to lose the toy they're playing with, or miss snack, or sit in time-out, and go, “Rachel, how much do you actually want to make this happen?”
As a very eloquent, Floridian gentleman once said, “Nut up, or shut up.”