Art, Design, Literature, Music


Dear Zonk,

If ever we meet up, I’d like to know all about what you do for a living. Is it a creative job or something scientific or something vocational? Do you need to study a certain thing in order to be able to do it? Does it require a specific skill set? Does it leave you much time? And also, does it satisfy more than it frustrates? Does it stress you out and make you nervous or does it make you happy?
Or are all jobs just jobs; things we do because we have to do them because that is how the world works when you’re a grown up and the only thing that you’re looking forward to every week is the weekend?

( Also, for another time, because I think that most of you are somewhere around my age, do you feel grown up? And if so, do you like it, and are you sstill afraid of the dentist? )

You see, I mostly like my job. In the sense that I like my office and the people in it and the work is mostly interesting and I’m mostly good at it. But someone told me something recently – two things – and I’ve been turning them over in my head ever since.

  1. It’s okay to have a routine for things and to like it. Because that’s just an efficient way to use up your headspace. And the fact that you don’t need to think about what time to leave for work today and which bus to take means that you have more mental energy to put into other things. Like work and other creative pursuits.

    This made me wonder: if your work is a creative pursuit, does it leave much nothing for other creative pursuits that mean much more to you and that you’re perhaps better at?

    I’m afraid it must be so, Zonk. I think that perhaps creativity is a finite resource. And I believe I could be in danger of using it all up before I can figure out how to use it well.

  2. The things that I like to do are things where there are no right or wrong answers. You can like this post, or not like it, but you can’t really tell me it’s wrong.

    But lately, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of people working in ways that are fixed and certain. You do this in this particular way and it will take you about so many hours. And perhaps you do it everyday. With time you will get better at it. And maybe someday you will be bored. But at least there is no uncertainty there. There is no little nagging voice in your head that wonders if you’ll do okay every time you start on something new.

    I don’t like uncertainty, Zonk. And so, I don’t like the stress of having to come up with something new all the time. It makes me nervous. But I am disorganized and careless and forgetful and easily bored; and I’d probably suck at a non-creative job.

I’m not sure if you’ve already got this, but my point is, these two things don’t go well together. I am a creature of routine. I like the safety and comfort of familiar things. But I work a creative job. Not that every thing changes with every project, mind you, but still. Every new project is new. It brings with it a certain amount of uncertainty, and uncertainty stresses me out. What’s worse, maybe I’m fretting away whatever leftover creative potential I have.

And so it is that I am stuck worrying about something I partially care about, while the things that I really care about slowly fall into disrepair.


Love always,


3 thoughts on “Paradoxes

  1. What is better? A creative job, A boring but ridiculously well paying job or a blowjob. I really don’t know. Life tells me that none of them make me as happy as lying on the floor at the end of a tired day and singing a love song to my dear ceiling fan. I don’t think anyone knows the answer to the questions your asking. But I can tell you one thing. Don’t try to figure how you are going to be happy. First be happy, then figure the rest of the shit out.

    • Hmm. For the record, in case it came out wrong, I don’t think all non creative jobs are boring. But that said, I think you’re probably right. Happiness is not going to work out according to a plan.

      • Nah it didn’t come out wrong at all. In fact, I envy the guy who sweeps at my neighborhood temple, he looks pretty sorted to me. Content and happy. He sweeps like he is the Jimi Hendrix of sweepers so I really am in no position anymore to say what’s creative and non-creative.

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