I have been watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix. I am not that interested in fiction anymore. Maybe because I have been living in the fantasy inside my head for so long I not sure I want to spend time in another persons fantasy.
The ones I have been watching are about passion to do complete something and the drive or creative process behind that. I watched the story of Elmo and his creator and then last night the Indie Games the story behind some of the geeks that are creating top independent video games.
Both stories were similar in that they were passionate and it never occurred to them to do something else instead. The Elmo creator and puppeteer made his first puppet out of his dad's coat lining after watching Sesame Street. Luckily his dad was supportive and told him to ask next time. His story was what you imagine it would be like if you were born to do something specific.
The geeks were a little different for sure obsessed but because they were pressured to release their games at a certain time their lives were full of stress. One person coding day and night for years. Some worked in pairs but others were totally isolated for years without money and even without a car. The movie was about the successful ones that have now made millions who are now working on new games.
I could relate to their suffering it reminded me of the time I spent during the recession without customers feeling stressed and trapped wondering whether I should just quit and go back to my previous profession. I had invested so much time and money at that point but with the lack of success I wasn't sure what to do. I was there alone in the office waiting for customers to come in and at that point the were coming in maybe once a week.
Sometimes you are at a crossroad but sometimes you are way past that crossroad and in a space of complete emotional exhaustion. In my case when I looked at the jobs out there in my old profession it made me feel physically sick. Mentally I don't think I would have been able to pretend to be excited about a new position during an interview.
I had left that part of me behind and I couldn't go back. Those were some of the worst years of my life and I do feel grateful at this moment that I am busy and happy where I am. It was the right move for me to leave my old profession and it was the right move for me leave that small shop and work for a larger company.
Both decisions were forced on me for different reasons. They made me have to re-invent myself and accept that the plan I had for my life was going to be different. It didn't make it easier that I was having to do that with my personal life too.
The good news is that I made it and feel like a success. Even though didn't have millions waiting for me like the game developers did. It all worked out even though I couldn't imagine how it was going to at the time.
In the big picture passion can seem clamorous but in the day to day it can be a grind to stick with something when you can't imagine it will ever end. The thing you once loved stops being fun but you just have to get up and do it anyway. You have gone too far to turn back.
I love design and I love anything creative. I am happy that I made through both transitions and work in a field makes good living and allows me to be creative. Happy to be no longer stuck.