Don’t Work Full Time!

The nine to five doesn’t work. The full time job model that most of the world faces is broken and wrong. From the moment we are born to the time we are christened as adults with our first paycheck we are taught to shut up, sit still, and conform.   We are taught to conform to corporations who employ us, and subversively control us. Enter: the great treachery of capitalism. The lie that in order to be loved, respected, successful, and fulfilled, you must be employed (by another company) full time.  I’m here to teach you all how to avoid falling into that trap, and I’m here to journey with you away from the trap, and into the ocean of possibilities that appear when you take control of your own destiny.

Toward the end of my 4th year of working part time jobs, I got hired as a game-master at a company called “RavenChase Adventures LLC”. This company ran an Escape Room. Players were locked into themed rooms and forced to escape before the hour ran out. Unlike everywhere else I had worked, I wanted to be there. I enjoyed getting to learn from my coworkers. Our boss encouraged us to follow our dreams and take risks. He himself took risks and allowed us to contribute in ways that were meaningful and challenging. He trusted in us to be able to learn, and execute effectively in all capacities. He gave us all a spark of hope.  Hope that maybe we were worth more than $7.25 an hour.

In August of this year, I made an amazing decision to move closer to Rebecca.  I quit my job at the Escape Room and took a full time job at a print/copy company. I made this decision expecting that the affirmation from my family, and my partner’s family, would bring me everlasting joy. I thought doubling or tripling my salary would be worth it. I thought having benefits would make me feel more secure.

Instead it has completely broken me. Each and every day I wake up, I sit in an office, or in a car, and am presented with a day devoid of challenge or excitement.  My coworkers, who are all over 40, have accepted this as their fate. When asked why they continue to work here even though they hate it, they reply with “that’s just how life is” or “because I can’t do anything else”. Envisioning myself in the future saying the same thing to a new recruit makes my stomach lurch. How could ANYONE in their right mind allow themselves to become so dehumanized that they accept this misery SIMPLY because “that’s how life is”?

That’s not “how life is”. Life is vibrant, joyous, creative, beautiful, exciting, surprising, and overwhelmingly fulfilling. Life with a Corporate boot on your neck is hell.  If you want to be happy, and fulfilled, and joyous in life, than you must look away from wealth, and look toward enriching your life through art, music, dance, love, creativity, and helping others.

 So what am I doing about it????

I used to think that because I was raised as a musician, I was destined to be a musician and nothing else. I didn’t think I could paint, take pictures, write, make movies, build houses, or fix cars. The truth is: I can be and do whatever I want. Realizing this is the first step to escaping the degrading mindset of compliance that corporations want from their employees.

I firmly believe that you are what surrounds you. If you watch tv all day, than the sum of your mental capacity is limited by what you watch. If you work around people who are complacent and satisfied with meaningless work, than you will become a zombie like them. If you wish to be an artist, surround yourself with art, and challenge yourself creatively. If you wish to be a carpenter, surround yourself with wood and working tools, even if you don’t know how to use them. If you want to open a business, commune with small business owners and entrepreneurs and you will be more likely to succeed.

In order to break free from corporate complacency, we must first and foremost teach ourselves to learn actively.  We need to start seeking challenges outside of the working world.  Through sharing my learning experiences with you, I hope to inspire you to begin to learn and explore things you never thought you could. In the past three months alone, I have learned the following in a functional capacity, and I wish to share with you how I have been able to do so, while working a full time job.  Please join me on my journey to escape the meaningless life of a corporate employee.

Digital photography editing,
Darkroom Photography,
Ableton Live,
Acrylic and oil painting,
Bamboo flute,
Drywall building,
Writing a blog.

Art Slam!

As my first step toward financial independence and entrepreneurship, Rebecca and I took a trip to the local Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Library.  This newly renovated building is filled to the brim with incredible resources; there is even a maker space with a 3-D printer for public use!  Right as we entered the building through the cafe entrance, a shimmering shining necklace of crystals and copper caught my attention.  The wearer was a smiling young man who exuded positive energy.  I immediately complimented his necklace and asked if he had made it.  He began to show me his wife’s business, a copper and crystal jewelry boutique.  He and I had an instant connection and began discussing entrepreneurship and how simply INTENDING to accomplish something tends to lead to completion.  We were so enthralled with each other that Rebecca disappeared into the abyss of the 3 story library unnoticed.

I learned that my new friend, let’s call him L.B., was a slam poet, and entrepreneur.  He had recently left his full time job to pursue his poetry business full time.  Winston-Slam is a poetry slam event held throughout the month and L.B. is a major player in the Winston-Salem poetry scene.  His connectedness with influential people throughout the city is boggling.  He also runs the coffee shop for fun!  When I brought up my concept of a cross-cultured arts/music studio, his entire demeanor changed.  He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “That is going to happen this year.”  Taken aback I asked what he meant.  He went on to tell me that many artists and poets and musicians in Winston-Salem shared my dream, and that he had been trying to get the idea in motion for a while.  He asked me to meet with him on Monday to begin planning our new idea.

I met with him at a little coffee shop called “Coffee Park Airstream”.  He introduced me to the owner of the coffee shop, and I began to pitch my idea.  I told the owner, Tommy, that I had no entrepreneurship or business experience, but that I was passionate and ready to get started.  He began to spill out names and organizations of influential people I should talk to, and even offered L.B. and me a space to test out our new idea: an art slam.  The pieces are now in motion, and L.B. and I are planning on running Winston-Salem’s first underground art slam in February of this year.  We hope to use the art slam to test out the concept of cross culturing various artistic mediums.

Three days ago, I had no idea what entrepreneurship was.  Three days ago I was lamenting the lack of control I had over my own destiny.  Three days ago, I felt like I had no support system in the new city I had moved to.  Today I KNOW that I can accomplish anything.  I know I am not alone in this city.  All it took for me to meet L.B., meet Tommy, and start down the path of creating Winston-Salem’s first ever art slam, was to simply DO what I perceived to be the next step: go to the library.  Doing has so much more power than simply thinking.  I was able to think about my ideas and fantasize about them, but it wasn’t until I took a step to make my dreams REALITY, that I began to see results.

L.B. and I have a lot in common, we both have no idea what we are doing, and we both believe we can do whatever we want.  We both believe that our destiny is simply the result of our conscious effort to manifest our dreams.  L.B. lives by the mantra “speak it, and it shall be.”  I cannot stress this enough: what you say, is what you will become.  If you SAY you cannot accomplish something, you will not accomplish anything.  If you SAY you will succeed, than you will succeed.  By vocalizing our desires, we INVEST in our own destiny.  By speaking what we believe is true about ourselves, we give our consciousness a tangible blueprint for success.  The next time you feel hopeless, or like you have no control, SPEAK that control into your life.  I promise, if you speak it, it shall be.  Oh and come to downtown Winston for some ART SLAMS!