How I Ended up Traveling the U.S. getting paid to Draw, Write & Teach : Part 1
Start with the Ending and Circle Back Through Hell
In the Four Hour Work Week, Ferriss defines the new rich as
…those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility.
Or to be a bit more straightforward – Forget money. If I could do anything, what would I do?
I racked my brain for what rich meant to me.
My perfect life consists of traveling, painting, writing, and improvising, which seems unfocused, stupidly ambitious, and a direct path to the poor house. It’s exactly what I do today, and getting there took me half a decade.
The first year I fought excuses.
‘The only reason this worked for Ferriss,’ I told myself, ‘Is because of his 3 years of 100 hour workweeks and his lifetime of experience in failed ambitious projects.’ But I could accept 100 hour workweeks if it gave me the life I wanted. That’s not what stopped me.
The real problem was my depression. When I’m productive I can be pretty awesome (If I do say so myself), but the other 95% of my life I’m in a chemically unbalanced state of misery where I lose my sense of control. Instead of a psychiatrist, I turn to writing, painting and drawing to find balance. In other words, making art is one big attempt at escaping depression.
It took most of my childhood to realize this. I’m pretty sure the common vernacular for this state is ‘being human.’
It’s rare that I’ll finish a project or idea. I once almost started a business. Almost wrote a book…coded a program…finished a painting series…illustrated a comic…how much time do you have? I’ll finish one out of every twenty projects I start. That still leaves me with plenty of finished projects, but I’m overwhelmed by the rest and the word ‘potential’ chases me. As I get closer to the finish line, I get depressed, unsure if anyone cares, wondering if this is different than what’s come before. I ask myself, ‘How will this help anyone?’
These days I spend three weeks out of every month writing, painting, and improvising. The fourth I spend being flown across the US teaching classes in art and marketing.
I’m, by no means, rich – but I’m doing exactly what I want as I force myself to do more. This series covers my journey from a 9 to 5-er to living my own life.
Part 2: A Lucky Break and a Half Lie