Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Slow Release

I'm gonna put you on trial today.

I've spent the last three days and nights building factories, vending machines, motels, diners, and lots of lights, signs, and fence posts. I have one more day of this.

There is something to be said about losing yourself in your work; there is a lapse of time as the process takes over -- it's almost like watching TV. The hours are just absorbed. Since my work is primarily creative, and revolves around problem-solving, I can find solace in the fact that I am improving on some kind of skillset. I'm no longer punching in strings of postal codes, or filing CDs and making sure the cassettes are all facing the right way. Still, I feel like I am losing something every time I dive in without thinking about resurfacing. I haven't slept at work in a long time, which is a good thing.

I try to keep in mind that, no matter what work you're doing, no matter how great it seems, at some point it becomes JUST work. Even if - for example - you're dealing with putting on a show involving the coolest rock band in the world, you're probably going to get irritated by the mundane reality of pushing the process forward.

It's really NOT that fucking cool. Not always.

Some people have a desire to idealize this sense of what they perceive to be cool. It's like they strive to attain some kind of identity through an external device. Your job is cool, so it reflects on you. Your clothes are cool. Your friends. The car you drive, and the coffee you drink, and the brand of cigarettes you smoke. To draw a parallel here, all of this stuff is just STUFF. It's just your JOB. It only represents some kind of ideal from the outside, but as an object or a goal, it means very little except to function as what it is (a cigarette to smoke, a car to drive, a job to earn money). So you have all those friends you wished you always had, and you have your great shoes and that wicked jacket. What does that make YOU? A shining beacon of taste and style? No. If the goal was to define yourself through these things, it makes you empty.

Sure, an appreciation for pop culture and the world around us is great. Knowing what's in fashion is fine. But judging others entirely by a set of ideals based around a false reality, derived from what amounts to a social game? Let's judge each other based on who we are, not on how we appear.