Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Howdy, kids.

Since we’ve been apart, some experiences have been had, and decisions made.

ManThing and I are putting Chez Monkey up for sale. No, we’re not buying another house. We’re taking one step down on the “I’m-An-Adult-Now” American Dream Ladder, and going back to renting. It is amazing to me, the sense of relief I have had since we made this decision (which also tells me it’s the right one). Apparently, I am an architect who (gasp) doesn’t want to live in a house. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we don’t have the money to fix it up to our standards. Perhaps it is because the house payment is draining us dry, so that we can’t afford to do anything but make the house payment. Whatever. I’m not going to go into it here.

For quite a while, I’ve been meaning to address some of the comments I received on this entry.

Anonymous said (Mikey, is that you?), “Find something to add joy to your life. Quit trying to make it architecture. That is a job to pay the bills. Some people live for their jobs. That is how they get in magazines. Screw that!"

Screw that, indeed.
In fact, I have come to realize that I want absolutely nothing to do with architecture or construction when I’m not at work. I’m even going to change the delivery address for my industry mags to my work address. There needs to be a clear separation between what I do to pay the bills, and who I am- “architect” is not as all-encompassing as my old professors would have me believe. The notion that you must be “passionate” about architecture at all times and in all aspects of your life is something I had shoved down my throat all throughout school. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great, steaming pile of crap. I am good- no, excellent- at what I do for a living, but I don’t want to bring it home with me every night- or constantly spend long hours at work. Divorce and unhappiness await me at the end of that road.

I no longer care about trying to do some design work on the side, entering design competitions, or doing upgrades to my own house. I'm no longer desperate for people to ask me to design their houses, or anything else. In my off-the-clock time, I want to make art. Pure, simple, art- no codes, no clients, nobody to tell me it’s crap except me (and occasionally ManThing, shrugging, offering the opinion, “Eh.”). Would I like to make a living creating art? Sure, but then it would stop being enjoyable, much like architecture school killed my love of hand drawing.

Philip said, “You need one sustaining daily goal to get you through these rough times.”

Right now, my sustaining daily goals, in this exact order, are going to be: uncluttering the house enough to prepare for sale, getting my leg fixed, and cramming some art-making in wherever I can. I even sat down last night and hand-sketched something- and it felt good, for the first time in a long while. Tonight, I’m going to my first figure drawing class. I’m excited.

Art therapy rocks.


Anonymous said...

i concur in whole.

i don't have that passion to live it past 40 hours a week.

i don't care to bring that passion home. i work too damn hard to even consider a side gig (architectural).

and the damn gig just doesn't pay enough to live better than i can afford. so i'm forced to consider a non-architectural side gig, just to get away from it all.

as far as my daily goal... just try to keep all the balls in the air and live to 5:30pm. i yearn for a gig that has me working on less than 7 or 8 projects daily.

beyond that. i live for my little girl and fear that this gig won't help me get her what she needs in the future.

Buildit said...

Damn, chick, I wish it was me. I'm still having the beat down doubts from school... Yeah I got out- that proves someting, but I can't think of one project that I liked that generated any sort of positive responce. Makes it hard to put together a portfolio after 6 years when you either hate the project or it was shat heavily upon. That's my newest reasoning for staying with the municipal jobs... It's just too hard to shut my head off. I think I start a new hobby every 2 months. I try to at least rotate thru the ones I already have to keep the costs down.
Right now the thing that's keeping me from telling the customers to quit whining is "Make" magazine. It's a more hard core mad scientist version of "readymade" I'm just trying to keep myself under controll long enough to pay off the credit card shit.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunitely it was me, your swamee, Lori. I want to win the lottery so I can have someone take care of squirt during the day and I can paint, play cello, do anything but stare at a computer.
Well that is good start I am glad that you will hopefully take the house burden off soon.

Anonymous said...

Life drawing classes are a great idea to unleash some creativity dampened by the horrors of CAD [straight lines? Hate 'em]
Good luck with the drawing and everthing else...!