Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day (Get a job.)

My mother and I spent Boxing Day the way all patriotic Canadians do. We went shopping. For someone who hates shopping its a nightmare. I got claustrophobic. My mother got a lamp. 

Yesterday I called the rest of my siblings because they were all together with our Dad. My littlest sister, who is one and a half, didn't say much but apparently was listening very intently to the receiver. My other little sister got a ukulele for Christmas. My brother and I were relating about wanting to live alone. I told him I was looking at buying a trailer, which I think is a great idea. I am really excited about it and thats the truth. To this he responded that maybe I should... dundundun... get a job. 

No matter how many times they tell me, its not enough. Its no wonder I avoid holidays with them. I wasn't complaining about not having money, I wasn't saying that I didn't have any other choice. Recently, I had a very sad and messy falling out with my housemate and best friend of four years. I am incredibly heart broken and on top of that I have to move out of my lovely room. To his credit, my brother didn't know this part, but I still don't understand the need for him to keep telling me the same thing. As if I didn't hear it the last time. As if I can't take care of myself. As if I've ever asked him if I could borrow money. Why does he feel entitled to suggest to me how I should live my life? 

My response was that I take that suggestion as him thinking that what I am doing now is not worth while. My music is not worth while? So it just really hurts. Even if he did think that, I still wouldn't get (his idea of a) job. I'm doing what makes me happy and my family puts this value on it based on how much money it makes me. If I needed advice on how to make a load of money I would ask them. As it is I'm looking to live my dreams and be happy and make other people happy. In that, I will certainly not ask their advice... I think I'm better off than they are in that department. So their constant disapproval of how I live my life is one of three things:

1. Jealousy. (It's not fair that she should live her dream if I can't.)
2. Doubt. (She can't possibly make her own way and needs help to survive.)
3. Confusion. (How could she possibly be happy if she is not making a lot of money?)

Maybe its none of these and maybe its all three. Or maybe they are all just really concerned about me and want to help. Who knows. I'm just really tired of justifying my choices. What do I have to do to prove myself? Apparently three years of living off of my music alone is not enough. 

To be clear... I HAVE A JOB! I don't just sit around all day strumming my guitar. I WISH! When I play a show I play for maybe an hour. That's the work that everyone sees. The thing is, I'm not just a musician. I have a few jobs. I am a booker, promoter, manager, personal assistant, designer, roadie, and so on and so on and so on. So guess what bro, I took your advice. I got a job! I got it 5 years ago and I still have it. I work really hard and I love it. It makes me so happy that I want to keep doing it FOREVER! 


  1. And I personally hope you DO keep doing it forever. I recently had this same discussion with a good friend, who's parents want her to get a "real" job. I think you nailed it with those three factors, it's a combination of all three, in some weird ratio.

    Keep up the great music and all the other associated jobs that go along with being a self-made person. Never let the bastards grind you down, even if the bastards are related to you.

  2. Institutionalized work is over-rated. I love your music, and therefore I'm very happy you haven't succumbed to a cubicle or ditch-digging job.

    Maybe your family is confused and concerned about your ability to live without a 'traditional' job, but you're clearly managing, and you ARE making other people happy. That is so much more valuable than doing something like entering numbers into a database (or any other non-creative, menial job). Who would trade that for the illusion of a 'stable income?'

  3. I only go shopping when I need something specific (light bulbs, trash bags, shampoo). If it's something I want, there's online. I hate lines. They annoy the hell outta me. The only time I personally go to "big stores" is when I just feel like having other people around me, when I want to disappear by my self, so then it's just to walk around. Then again I'd much rather walk down a pretty forrest path. Urgh. Really, REALLY don't blame you for not wanting to go do that. Sounds terrible.

    A lot of the time people don't understand when they give "advice" it doesn't need to be taken. It's fucking advice for christ's sake, not the law. I've had some very interesting fights with friends who got pissed at me for "not taking their advice". Which I ask people for opinions and perspectives, not "How should I live my life?" Sometimes people get so caught up in what they think is right its hard for them to see alternatives. Not that they're bad people by any means, they're just... stuck?... I guess that's a good term.

    We're all extremely programed by societal, cultural and mass structural norms that we forget what really matters sometimes, happiness. I know I'm no exception. Once you start breaking away from these 'norms' you get a lot of guff unfortunately from everyone. If my parents knew half of what I do I'm sure I'd get a ear full from them. (Only child so no siblings to fight with) And I'm incredibly happy.

    I guess this is one of the many prices to pay for joy. C'est la vie. I'll take it gladly as long as I keep to get doing what I really love like I am right now.


  4. When I was little, and still to this day, people would ask me what kind of job I would do. And I would say an artist, a writer, a musician... And they would tell me that that was great but what about a real job.

    Now that I'm making art and vaguely getting paid for it, they still say the same things.

    People will call up a lot of my writer friends, some in their thirties and forties, during the day or whenever it's convenient for them and ask if the writer can help them move or something because they don't believe they have jobs that require work.

    The end product of an artist's work may not seem tangible to the people that consume it, but they certain know it's there when they put on their favourite song or film to help them unwind after a hard day at their "real jobs".

    Solidarity sister! xxx

  5. I think one of the issues is that a lot of non- artists see art as a fun thing, something that's not hard work, something that you could still do in your free time when you have a "real job". This is obviously not the case, but it is one of the misconceptions I run into not infrequently. Combine that notion with the fact that the arts are woefully undervalued in our society, and you have a lot of people who don't understand that art is in fact, a "real job". I see people asking artists to do things for free, when they'd never DREAM of asking another professional to do something comprable for nothing. I'm a visual artist, not a musician (I'm the one who gave you the necklace in Atlanta), but I can definitely see how much time and effort goes into doing what you do.

  6. JESUS! Feeling self-entitled, anyone? Err, EVERYONE? Drop your holier-than-thou art club pretensions, chuckles. You like to make art/music/whatever. Cool. So do I. Doesn't mean the world owes you or me or any other self-proclaimed artiste any more than all the other poor chumps out there trying to make a buck. Personally I reccomend getting over yourself. I mean A) all the world hates a snob and B) nobody ever made themselves happy tallying the accolades they've yet to receive.