january 29, 2011 // i just don't understand why you went to montana

Montana Sunset

I've gotten this a lot. People wondering why I had to go all the way to Montana to do what I'm doing. I don't know why, but since graduating from college I've done a lot of things that.. well, frankly seem weird to people. I got a job driving a 34 foot RV around the country when I was 23 and again when I was 24.. not really what the majority of people my age are doing. It's just that the idea of a cubicle and someone controlling my time makes me want to pull my hair out.. so I end up doing things that will let me avoid this lifestyle at all cost.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I've come to the conclusion that I'm like an unbroken horse (I learned this term while in Montana.. so it seems appropriate!).. I've been living this carefree life, going where I please.. doing what I want to do and yes, supporting myself along the way (odd jobs are a good friend of mine), but I feel the pressure to give in and live a "normal" life. I get it from my parents (they're very supportive, but I think they get pressure from the rest of my family and their friends and as a result, doubt what I'm doing) and a few friends here and there who are genuinely concerned when I seem concerned.. Oddly enough, the person I seem to get it from the most is myself.

This realization is surprising, seeing as I'm the one who takes myself on these wild journeys. It's like I have two sides of myself constantly arguing about what's best for me. Part of me so wants to settle down and conform. This side wears a business suit and has a planner.. she also has an iPhone on which she constantly get's e-mails. In response to some of her messages, she exclaims things out loud like, "Uh! He would!" and "That's absurd!". The other half looks like a hippy gypsy. She's totally fine with going where the metaphorical wind of the future takes her. She's boisterous and social... she also seems to "win" more often when told to battle against her responsible counterpart. I need to find a balance between the two. A vagabond, free-spirited lifestyle that I can support financially with dedicated work that I enjoy. I know such a balance exists because I've seen other people achieve it.

While people (as well as myself) may doubt the reason why I came all the way to Montana for a month to follow this dream, this month has been so important. I've really proved to myself that when I focus my creative energy, I can get things done. While no one is throwing money at me (..yet) to doodle things.. I know that it's possible to make a living with art. Yesterday I finished the first of two packages that I'll be sending to my publisher of choice - Chronicle Books. I knew that I wanted to see if they'd publish my work as soon as I saw that they were the publishing house behind All My Friends Are Dead. I love that the books they publish are quirky and fun.. I hope they like my work enough to publish it! I'm going to send them a few designs for journal covers and a possible novelty picture book on this go around... and then as soon as I finish my yeti book, I'll send it their way too!

I'm still working on the "feature" book I originally came out here to write.. the one about the yeti. Hopefully I'll get it done before I leave in a few weeks. If not, I still feel accomplished. It feels good to put my mind to something and achieve it. Even if I don't get published, I still feel like I did something that I can be proud of.

1 comment:

  1. This actually made me so happy to read. I delayed going to college in the first place because I had a similar inner-turmoil. i eventually went back and am currently finishing my degree but roads and life and freedom tempt me at every angle I turn. I am equally determined to find my balance. It is just currently requiring these slow and quiet times before I get there.


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