by Kirby Congdon…….
If you have a hobby there should be no conflict between that interest and coping with the need for independence. However, if a preoccupation is more than a hobby, if it is your calling, if you feel it is the one thing you were born to do and if it lets you find out who you are, then you meet up with trouble and struggle because there is no test establishing your skills. You have to prove that you are who you are to yourself and nothing else matters all that much. A job, or work, is only a a means to support your talent, while creative activity is demanding of everything you are capable of. It takes dedication beyond perseverance and results in personal growth rather than in a larger salary. To be an artist in any field is an expensive commitment psychologically, but if there is no other choice that your psyche accepts, then there is no replacement for it.
I know a fine artist who gave up his calling in order to avoid risk. He has a fashionable apartment in one of the best parts of Manhattan, an intelligent wife and a stable job. But he cut his balls off because he didn’t have the nerve to put his painting ahead of immediate social approvals. Do I need to say anything more? But I can’t, anyway, because it’s his life, not mine. He has to set his priorities for himself, not for the approval of anything or anyone else. Most people don’t know where they are going until they’re about 38 years old. Life is not always something you can control, but you can anticipate where its taking you and remain the human being you feel you need to be despite the many kinds of brain-washings a younger man or woman is subjected to. To be adult is to put conflicts in balance, and to always favor the one you feel most identified with. If you have received a gift horse, ride it!