Thursday, July 22, 2010
~ Erich Fromm
Over 45 years ago, my Dad had a crazy idea. He was tired of his stint as a corporate worker and wanted to do something that utilized his artistic skills. Having a wife and four children, with one on the way, to support, he took a huge risk. He trusted his crazy idea and became a self-employed sign painter. These days they're called commercial artists. I think that if Dad was still around, he would probably give that title a sarcastic laugh, hold his pinkie up in an affected way, and with a poorly executed upper crust British accent, say, "I'm a co-MER-cee-ul ar-TEEST." No. Dad was a sign painter, plain and simple. He was, in fact, a brilliant artist. But I think he kind of liked the relative ease of making a sign. He knew what was expected in terms of look, feel and color. I also know that it gave him pride to drive down the street and to be able to see his artwork standing right out for everyone to see.
Dad trusted his crazy idea. He trusted it enough to turn it into a success. Granted, his success wasn't world famous, it never landed him a write-up in the New York Times, or even a spot on the local news. However, his success allowed him to work as an artist and house, feed and cloth a family of seven. We didn't always have extra, but we never went without. Had my Dad not made it in the sign painting business, he could have gone back to pretty much any manual labor job.
What if we trust our crazy ideas?
For almost two years now I've had this crazy idea. I want to make a living off of art and/or writing. I'm not the greatest at pursuing, I'm not aggressive, but I'm going with my crazy idea. I'm fortunate in that I have the help and support of a wonderful mate. Even so, there are days that I think, "Oh, Barb. Just take a job bagging groceries even and give it up." But... I can't. I can't let go of my crazy idea. It's mine. I own it. It owns me.
I don't have any secrets or great wisdom to share with you on how to trust your crazy idea. It's something I just do. I can't not, because any time I think about giving up, it feels like death to me. I think when there's something that internally tugs at you this way, you have no choice but to try to make it real. It's a matter of working toward whatever that idea is, or resign yourself to living with a lifetime of bitter tasting What-If.
Trust your crazy idea.
What's your crazy idea? I'd love to hear from you either via the comments section, or direct email at: firstname.lastname@example.org