“You are so…creative” was a phase I often heard when growing up. Never really sure if that was a good thing or just an act of kindness said to a square peg, I learned to say “thank you” as I secretly wondered “really?”
Eventually destiny confirmed my question and pointed me in the direction of art and later writing. Areas where I was surrounded by similar thinkers that gave me a sense of “wahoo” belonging. The place where I discovered my “h-spot,” as in happy and I knew it!
Before finding that spot I encountered many discouraging people. Thank goodness I listened to my big-mouthed passion that shouted: IGNORE! IGNORE! IGNORE! However, ignore does not mean you forget, forget, forget, especially the following.
During an interview at a BIG ad agency, where I fantasized about making my creative debut, instead of being asked if I could start on Monday, I was blatantly questioned the balloon-buster “Why do you want to get into this rotten business?”
While I did NOT get hired, I did NOT give up. In fact, I got fueled…to continue.
For some people, career dreams do come true with “EZ” straight-shot passes. Not necessarily the case for creative thinkers where the map tends to zig and zag as potential opportunities are staggered in multifarious places.
I know because I have zigged and zagged and zagged and zigged on a road trip that had its share of detours and dreaded rest stops. Eventually I linked to many incredible experiences where I was able to express my spirited ideas and contribute to exciting projects.
As I push the decades into rewind mode, I have come to realize it takes talent and luck and even, yes, “connections,” (which fall under luck) to move ahead. Not necessarily does it happen in any particular order or scale, as I have observed the maddening imbalance of more luck and no talent squeak through the HR walls as well. No lie!
Yet, while only a few may grab the golden CEO quill, others share the title of “VIC,” aka Very Important Cog, a position that is nothing to snark about. As an official VIC I can vouch that it is not only an important role, but also one that comes with great privilege.
For starters, VICs bring intangible gifts such as wit and talent to the room. Their generous sharing often becomes the needed inspiration to nudge a budding, blossoming idea into a brilliant, magnificent bloom. VICs are true givers. They bestow smiles, bring ROTFL moments, create priceless good times and lasting friendships, and on top of it all produce killer work!
It’s Not Where You Start
To paraphrase The Beatles and one of my favorite sayings: “Jobs (life) happen(s) when we’re busy making other plans.”
Eventually I learned that sh*t happens and not always the way once dreamed. But with a little ingenuity, parallel destinations can be reached and bring tons of meaningful satisfaction, as THEY DID and STILL DO!!!
Future for Love or Money or Both
At this point in my life I feel the creative wheel keeps on rolling. For me there are no conventional red-light limits to stop my process — perhaps a sustainable paycheck, but that’s another post! I can say that as far as having the ability to express an inner voice, this old/young-spirited Baby Boomer feels fortunate to still hear one in these competitive yet dynamic millennium times.
I hope to continue as long as I can meet my own criteria of what makes me relevant in today’s industry. As a result, I have discovered that by keeping up and practicing an open mindset, the vital work road doesn’t end if you’re willing to change lanes. Words I Live By As long as you can whistle while you work, or at least hum, more than likely, you enjoy what you do and that’s the secret of the ageless gift.
Phyllis Briskman is a verse contributor and does PR/marketing. She sharpened her first pencil as retail fashion copywriter, writing to count before Twitter tweeted its first hello. Later, she flew the cubicle to do freelance creative becoming a writer of all trades, from beauty to fitness for catalogs, magazines, and websites. Born to brainstorm, she's named retail businesses and website domains. She loves quick wit, survives on laughter, is a little hokey, but aims to please because that’s what life’s all about.