Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Giving Up The Dream

Monkey here.

The other day, I had a sort of a crisis. Overworked, stressed, tired, and feeling like a great effort I put out for a project was totally wasted, for a second I thought: "I should just quit this art thing."

I pondered the possibility that I could just move back home with one of my parents, get a management job in some retail place, and just drink every day after work, watch my friends' band's shows, play video and board games in my spare time, and just grow old. I could just do nothing of great value or importance, and generally let my soul and passion slowly wither and die and "get a real job" that I hate but consistently pays the bills.

While there is nothing wrong with this sort of life if that's what you're into, for me, it brings up a huge wave of revulsion and disgust. I want to paint monsters and scared people and dark apothecary vials and tell horror stories and design shirts and paint Magic:the Gathering cards and see the world and inspire people to make art. I want to design video games and card games and board games and design a monster for a film and I want to never have to go to an interview again. For me, this is the path of greatness, of a dream chased and fulfilled, of the magic of the universe swirling in the palm of my hand. This is what I want my life to be.

So when I told Eve that I should just quit, she said "Fine then. Just quit." And immediately, I knew what my answer was: "I just can't."

I can't let the past four years of long nights and tens of thousands of dollars go to waste. I can't let all that I've worked for just fizzle out just because it got hard. I've tasted the appetizer of a dream fulfilled and I can't get it out of my head. I need it just as much as I need oxygen or food or water. Even if I fail, as long as I don't quit, I can still lay there dying and know that I tried my best and fought til the very end.

Now don't get me wrong - stopping or taking a break is much different than quitting. If the circumstances call for it, to survive maybe you think you do have to take a step backwards and there's no shame in that. But to quit - to truly give up on your dream...well, to be honest if I think you really could quit, you wouldn't be reading this blog.

You can't quit now. Whether your just starting or have been on the road for some time now, you've already taken that first step. You can feel that burning urge to do that thing in your life that you've always wanted. There's this welling up in your gut and tightening of your jaw when you let go of what society dubs normal and be honest with yourself and what you want. You start to hear the blood in your temples and a tingling in your hands. Whether or not you think you know what you want, you do - you just have to let your inner artist be truly honest with yourself and chase that truth til the end.

So do yourself a favor: if you think you can quit, fess up now, say a "good-bye" in the comments, and we wish you the best. But if you're one of the dreamers, one of the doers, one of clan of those who have tasted magic and want more, then share this with someone you think is of the like. Post your declaration in the comments. Talk to us on Facebook. Declare that you're gonna keep going and that you'll never quit. Make yourself an oath and tweet it.

The world is here for your taking. Let's get to work.