April 27, 2005

Why South Dakota?

Why, indeed. No, I don’t really have anything to say about South Dakota. “Why South Dakota” was the title on a page that I was scanning at work today, and it just stuck with me for some reason.

I spent a large portion of today scanning scores of the most mind-numbingly boring articles and then assembling the electronic files into some sort of understandable order. In the midst of doing this, I began to think on just how much time people spend each day doing things that don’t matter to them even a little bit.

Then, I began thinking about all those people who like to tell you to find what you love to do and just go do it. And then I began thinking about how many of those people have their heads shoved clean up their asses.

Would I love to just lock myself in my studio each and every day and make art? You betcha I would. Would I be able, eventually, to make a living at it? (Keeping in mind the provision that I said “a” living, and did not define what kind of a living that might end up being.) I believe that I could.

Is dumping my day job and turning full-time artist a totally irresponsible decision for me to make? Yes indeedy. Alluring as hell, yes, but irresponsible.

Somehow, I just don’t think that our esteemed (okay, make that somewhat-less-than-esteemed) Department of Education would take kindly to me saying, “Sorry guys! I know you paid my way through school and all, but I’m going to quit my job and play with paint all day long. No more checks for you.” See, in the seven years (Christ!) since I graduated from college, the dear old DOE has grown rather accustomed to receiving that money from me. I just don’t think they’d understand.

(On the plus side, only thirteen more years until any remaining student loan balance gets King’s X’d. And then, lucky me, I get to pay income tax on whatever that remainder might be.)

And let me just share this very important warning with you: Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to consider how much of your day is spent doing things you have no interest in, while at the same time actually doing one of those things, while at the same time wondering how the hell you can get out and do what you do want to be doing – as recommended by the above-mentioned folks with their heads up their butts - while also thinking about just how much money you will shell out over the course of twenty years to pay for the college degree without which you wouldn't be standing there doing what you don’t want to be doing in the first place.

I’m telling you: Don’t do it.