Ever get that niggling feeling – perhaps first thing in the morning or at 3:23 pm when you realise the day is far from over – that there must be more to life than this? Ever meet that feeling with a shrug and then think that it’s all ok because you are just working to live and one day you’ll be able to pursue that thing you dream of?
Yes, well, me too. Except I recently realised that ‘doing the thing I dream of’ at this rate was scheduled to occur sometime in 2057 when I will be 79. I also realised, in a epiphanic moment influenced by the cancer diagnosis of a member of my immediate family, the end of a significant relationship and two glorious months of solo travel, that this just wasn’t going to cut it anymore (for me anyway).
So I resolved to do a little bit of dreaming in amongst my working week. The floodgates opened and soon I had a list of things that included: an illustrated children’s book, a collection of short stories, at least five App ideas one which includes the next big social media thing (possibly), a terrarium market stall, a suburban cafe concept, a novel (yes, yes all the cliches here), travel up the west coast of Australia, a series of illustrations in black pen and selling up to volunteer in a developing country.
After wandering is dreamy circles for several weeks and not making progress on any of these I picked one, set myself a month and made a start not knowing where I would end up.
I started with art. 8 illustrations in 30 days. I’m on day 8 and I’ve completed four major pieces, several doodles and two pieces for a friend’s birthday present. Prior to this I hadn’t really picked up a pen in 20 years.
I’ve been amazed at the response – that people actually like it and want some of my art for themselves. I’m under no illusions though and still just think of myself as someone who likes to doodle. I can tell you however that this is the most enjoyable and fulfilling thing I have done in ages.
If you, like me, are dreaming of something but never quite get close enough to have that play – please, for the love of god, create some space to do it.
POSTSCRIPT: So I did quite a bit of art. People seem to like it so I think I’ll keep going. Here’s what I did in November…