I had told myself that I would wait longer, just a little more gear, just a little more in my portfolio, until I left the job that was sucking the life out of me to join the ranks of those who pursued art as their main career full time. But, as the conditions of my workplace worsened, I found myself having less and less time and energy to make creative things and this was taking a toll on me far worse the prospect of not having as much money as I used to.
I think what really set off my urgency to escape the daily grind, was my father's recent death. We all grieve in different ways, but I found myself spending more and more time in reflection of his life and mine and how I was starting the same path that took him to his untimely end. This is not something I allow to happen to my life as well.
My dad was a very traditional Romanian, coming from a poor family. He saw that there was opportunity for freedom and new chances in America and so he fought to escape from Communist Romania, enduring harassment and having to go through a hunger strike to do so. His own brother was shot and killed trying to cross the boarder out and brought to my father's home so he could identify the body.
I imagine, that he too went through a similar epiphany at some point. That enough was enough and he needed to make a change or die trying. Every day, I am thankful that he did or I may not have grown up with the opportunities that I did.
These are all aspects of the past that my father did not like talking about. Whatever happened between then and the time that I came to know him, something had changed in him and he had a new set of priorities. Hard, practical work and saving money were his primary virtues and in his mind there was no way that one could make a living making art. This clash of ideologies was the topic of many of our heated arguments.
But as I watched him closely, I observed that the money he had was never enough and he was never really happy. He would always be looking for another way to make money with many of these plans ending in drastic failures that cost him a hefty sum of money in the long run. It was almost as if he was trying to fill a void left by a passion that died long ago. And now, looking back, I think I finally understand what he was going through.
It is just so easy to get addicted to financial security. The pressure to buy things and to have a "real" job are always present and I found myself falling into the same trap. Thankfully for me though, my passion was not dead. It was always there tugging and nagging at me to create more, if only I had any energy after being mentally drained from the stress of my job.
And so here I am, at the crossroads, about to part ways with my job and source of endless frustration. I am both excited and a little nervous about the future that is to come, but I know this is simply what I have to do if I am to keep my passion ( and ultimately, myself) alive. I hope to document this process and encourage anyone who is also sitting on the fence and waiting on their dreams to take action before unfortunate tragedy steals them away from you.