Work and Identity

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Freelance | No Comments

I’ve discovered that as a freelancer downtime is killing my soul. Not really, but kinda. I need to be working whether or not there is actual work to do. I knew this already. It’s what everyone in the motion graphics world says… but now I am very aware of it. Even if I’m just working on a daily render project, or a personal project I feel so much better when I’m working. I let myself get lazy a couple of days this past week and man it really affected me. The doubts and negative self talk invaded my heart and mind.

Thankfully I was sitting by a pool and had plenty of alcohol to help rid myself of those thoughts.

Seriously though it is so important to keep working. I may not have client work at the moment, but I can create, learn, grow, etc. When I’m doing those things I’m not only getting better at my craft but my spirit is full. I’m healthier.
Is that a good thing?
Is that the common problem among people who tie their identity to the work they produce?

Maybe… Maybe not.

I don’t know about everyone, but I feel like I’m designed to work… to create… to do something. Right now it’s creating animations and 3D stills and such. I suppose that could change at some point but if that’s what I’m designed to do right now it makes sense that I feel best when I’ve done some of that during the day. I’m not sure if that means my identity is tied up in what I do or not, but I don’t think it is. My identity isn’t really tied up in anything.

I just am. My identity is simply that “I am”. I don’t have to describe what I am nor do I feel the need to.

I am is bigger than what I do.

While “I am” today I will create something. I will also play with my son, help him with his studies, spend time with my wife, and even walk my dog. None of those things make up my identity yet they all do at the same time. It’s a paradox.

The thing I am pretty sure will happen is that when I have client work I will do well. I will create something great for them because that’s what I do. That’s why I believe it’s important to keep working all the time… even when there are no clients knocking at my door.

Hopefully what I create today will be beautiful, but regardless it will be worthwhile.


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