Justin in Suisun City writes:
I am 35 years old and a delivery driver – and I feel stagnant. I
don’t feel like I’m making progress in my life, even though I have an
art degree and have attempted to put my artwork out to companies –
with little success. I want more than what I am getting. It is not as though I haven’t tried. I want to try to move and find a home for my wife and me – yet there are houses that are too expensive, and I feel like I am going to be stuck in this town, renting, forever. Now I feel some pressure to have children, but I am unsure about that as well. I just don’t feel stable. What can I do?
Life may not have lived up to your expectations just yet, but you can’t quit trying. Your day job isn’t bad, but it also isn’t your calling. However, try to find some solace in the fact that it is keeping a roof over your head, and food on the table.
For a creative person, you aren’t using your creative gifts to their fullest potential. Creativity and talent aren’t limited to the finished product – they are also a part of the process, and how you think. You are thinking stuck and frustrated, and that zaps your passion. Find your passion again, and you will come up with some creative answers to your current problems.
You’ve got talent. I can see it. But you aren’t tackling your aspirations of getting your work out there in the world as if it were a second job, and you need to. Researching and contacting companies in line with your vision is a pain in the butt, but if you want to profit from your talent you have to do the grunt work.
As with many artists, you wouldn’t be “starving” if you would aggressively focus, and be consistent – treating art like a business, instead of a hobby. You want to be successful and get your name out there? Well, you have to work twice as hard for half as much, and create the interest. You can pick up projects here and there through your marketing and networking efforts, and then build some name recognition. Don’t limit yourself, though. Teaching, some project that has to do with skating or surfboards, and the world of anime keep popping up around you. I wish I could tell you more, but apparently it’s up to you to figure out what that means.
As for your living situation, home-ownership requires money and sacrifice. Houses are expensive to buy, own, and maintain – so renting isn’t always as bad as it seems. What you can comfortably afford may not line up exactly with what you are looking for, so this is another area of your life where you need to think a little bit creatively. Sometimes you need to see the potential in a house, rather than just looking on the surface. This shouldn’t be too hard for you. Also, sometimes you can luck out with foreclosures, pending foreclosures and tax sales. Look at it from all angles, and you will eventually find a home that meets your needs. However, next spring seems to hold more promise for you finding a house and closing a deal that (as I see it) is for the rest of this year.
Let go of the frustration, or use it as motivation for success – either way will work. Just because things haven’t fallen into place the way you had planned doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to. You have what it takes to succeed.
You are going to have a family one of these days, and your wife really wants to have kids. Guess what? When the time comes, you’ll more than manage – you’ll be a great dad!