Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bohemian Birthday Blues

Another year in my life has passed. I am now 37 years old. This day every year I usually take a moment and make a little assessment of my life. So how has it been?

I looked to the past and I would be a hypocrite if I say that I never missed the life that I was living before. It was almost a care-free life. Working as a commercial artist, enjoying my pay, spending it on hobbies, riding my motorcycle out of town, scuba diving, martial arts lessons, little creative projects to satisfy my whims... I said it was "almost" a carefree life because despite the seemingly happy-go-lucky lifestyle, I was actually searching - for my life's purpose, for what I love to do, for what I'm good at, for the craft that I can master, and also, for who I am.

There may be a lot of things that I don't get to do anymore. But if there's a significant difference between my life then and now it is that today I have a clearer understanding of what I want to do with my life. Before, I only plan on what to do on the weekend or the coming holiday. Now I plan on things that will contribute to achieving a recently defined long-term goal.

What is this goal? It is, simply, making a living out of what I love to do. So I started a business and starting from scratch is never easy. It took a year before I launched my custom digital painting services and my own brand of shirts. Now my time is mainly divided between developing more products, creating a portfolio of artworks, and marketing them. If I elaborate each task here, there will be a long list of things to do. It overwhelms me, really. I wish I could just focus on the creative side of it but since I'm building this business alone, I would also have to handle the marketing and other aspects of the business that an artist would find less interesting.

The thing is, bohemians and businessmen are two very different people. Bohemians like doing things themselves their way. They pursue the creative process and not the goal. Businessmen, on the other hand, employ people or companies to achieve their goals in the shortest time possible. Can a person think like a businessman and a bohemian at the same time?

I have bohemian friends and businessman friends and I am quite blessed that I have these people to give me advice and encouragement. Their common advice: be patient, organized, and focused.

So much to do, so much to learn. But today is my birthday and I don't want to think about business or goals for a while. Today I'll just be bohemian and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Drinking a glass of honey lemon iced tea in a warm afternoon while looking at the distant Laguna Lake sounds like it.

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