I was blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at these things) with a non-addictive personality. That is, I lack the particular gene or DNA combination that allows your body or psyche to become addicted to substances or behaviours. I believe it is for this very same reason that I have great difficulty in forming habits. Good habits.
See, I cannot for the life of me form the habit of exercising on a regular basis. And that’s sort of an addiction I would like to have. If not for my health, then to be able to fit into last summer’s clothes. My yoga mat is permanently rolled out, but unused. I have a small stepper machine sitting under an old (sweat) towel, giving off accusing vibes while I make like couch potato. There’s a pile of exercise and yoga DVDs in the TV cabinet, silently gathering dust in their dark little corner.
I admire… no, WORSHIP, those women (and men) whose bodies are testimony to their religious addiction to exercise. Especially women my age. When I was in my thirties, I promised myself I will have the body I had in my twenties again when I am in my forties/fifties. Well, the time is upon me, and I’m nowhere near that goal.
Am I addicted to food? you may well ask. Nope. I sometimes even forget to eat. But I have my moments where I’m convinced I can consume a large portion of the annual national potato harvest. And one has one’s little cravings… the occasional chocolate and/or doughnut binge. The thing is, I KNOW all the correct eating habits I should have, I’ve done it before. By skipping meals, intentionally or not, your metabolism slows. It is also ridiculously easy to replace snacks with healthy alternatives.So why not do it?
But I honestly think that the reason for my clothes seeming a bit… tight, is not what I put into my mouth, but what I miserably fail to do with my body: Make it move. People become addicted to exercise – I did, almost, when I was in my early twenties, going to the gym religiously 5 times a week. Your body becomes addicted to the endorphins that are released when you have a good workout. But was it enough for me? Maybe not, but that’s a story for another day. I just could never get back into some sort of routine, if not habit, of exercising on a regular basis.
Which brings us to the subject of self-control, self-discipline, self-preservation, self-confidence, self-…. respect? Is it all just mind-over-matter? Working from home does not allow me to make the excuse of “not having the time”. I have plenty of time. I don’t have a single excuse, and every reason in the world why I HAVE to do this.
Of course, all of the above will be moot if I could just START… but I am a procrastinator of note, and to my mind, also one of the laziest people I know… So that’s the aim for the next few weeks – forming a habit. They say it takes 21 days. 3 Weeks.
Well, it’s about time. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for ages, but never got the time. Now I do. I’m jobless, for the first time in my life. Weeelll…. maybe not quite, if you see freelancing as a legitimate career option. I’ve done it before, and quite frankly, now more than ever, I can’t see myself working for a boss again.
Incompetent bosses, bosses with no managerial skills, bosses without imagination (especially if you work in the design and advertising industry – in what alternate universe did they think they can run an ad agency without a creative hair on their bodies?). Sexist male bosses, weak bosses who cannot handle employees, especially of the female variety, to have opinions of their own. Female bosses who try to out-do each other in the bitch-department… the list goes on and on.
So, potentially I can be boss-free for the rest of my career. I can even have a different career – I am my own biggest fan, and I will give myself the opportunities no other short-sighted, closed-minded employer out there is willing to give me.
Pretty exciting? Maybe… if it wasn’t so damned scary!
But the truth of the matter is that jobs requiring my particular skill set, with my 20 years of experience, are scarcer than chicken teeth, like you would say in Afrikaans. And people are just not willing to take a chance on you, or pay you the money that you deserve for your years of blood, sweat and tears. The other side of the coin is obviously that freelancing is not a consistent earner. And I’m single. With debt. STREEEESSSSS!!!!
So the thinking behind this ranting comment on the state of the job market for graphic designers (or any creative) is this: we should stand by each other, plug ourselves and each other on every occasion that presents itself, pool ideas, resources if the need arises… designers, illustrators, photographers, copywriters, developers, and anyone that contribute to the collective creative process. That’s it – a Creative Collective made up of superior individualists. Maybe we could start a political party…