Being a maker is hard. We’re driven to continually create whenever we have the chance. It makes our talents abundant, and makes those who don’t share those same talents look… Well often times down on us as much as they will turn around and ask we create something for them free of charge… It’s infuriating.
Over the course of my life, and with every job I have ever held, I have been scolded, at one or another or many times over regarding what has been referred to as everything from “doodling,” to “scribbling,” to “insubordination,” to “goofing off.”
Let’s back up a little bit. I’m a high functioning Anxiety ridden, Depression plagued, PTSD looking over her shoulder, Dis-Associative Identity Disorder party in my brain. A little bit of what this means? I’m constantly plagued with the feeling that laying in bed and dying could be better for me, I’m terrified of getting out of bed, or from leaving my room or house because I can’t stand the thought of being around other people. I don’t trust… nearly anyone… and I loose small to huge chunks of my day because “I’m” not the one present. Those things combined can… cause some pretty good issues for a person.
Imagine doing a job that’s an assembly style type job. You’ve been tasked with putting together Coffee cups. Just lids and cups and coffee sleeves. Somewhere in between steps another “you” takes over your brain and is suddenly looking down at the parts going “what do I do with these?” With no clue of what to do in that moment.
Now let’s say you’ve been given a magic key, and all you have to do is hold onto that key, or use that key, and you’ll remember what you need to do. More appropriately in explanation is the other “you” that was doing the task will be able to shove the “intruder” aside and get back to doing there job. That’s what drawing does for me. It puts “Me,” (the “main” me that most people know and talk to on a daily basis.) back in control so I can finish and get back to my job.
Unfortunately, a co-worker sees you grab your key. They can’t use the key, they don’t know what you’re doing with the key, and they get jealous cause it looks like you’re just “fucking off” “screwing around” “not paying attention” “taking extra breaks.” Greaaaaat. ((Hey smokers, where do you get off? Constant potato chip muncher that takes your hands from the keyboard? Constant get up to get coffee guy? Constant refills her water girl?)) We all have things we’re doing to maintain enough sanity to get the jobs we’re doing completed. For some of us, that “thing” we do, also happens to produce kickass fucking art. My “apologies.”
So here comes the manager. They want your “key.” They tell you that you can’t use your key anymore. It’s distracting the other workers. If they let you keep your key, pretty soon everyone will have their own keys. They’d have to let ‘Suzzie’ bring in her service cockatiel and ‘billy’ will be asking to smoke inside next cause its “more convenient, and keeps him at his desk more.”
I shit you not. I’ve had people tell me that if I take a few seconds *SECONDS FOLKS.* at a time and draw a few lines on a sketch over the course of the day, that they’ll have to let people bring in their service chickens, dogs, cats, ferrets, tortoise… etc. You know what? I wish they could. Screw ’em. I’d work around a service ferret. Are you kidding me?! You wanna talk about not getting work done, spend 5 minutes around one of those furry noodles of joy and teeth.
Maybe I should take up smoking and rot my lungs? Maybe I should become someone who continually eats sugar at their desk and wind up with diabetes? Maybe I should start slipping alcohol into my coffee? At least then I wouldn’t be, *GASP* drawing…
This is what I’ve had to deal with in every single job I’ve had.
TLDR: I need a job that either doesn’t throw my bag of crazy into full destruction mode, or one where I’m creating art everyday. When someone has something that calms then that you’re not used to, don’t immediately think they’re just “screwing around.” They could be trying to take care of themselves in a non destructive way.
PS: If you have any questions about what it’s like to live with any of the above… “issues”, I’m always more than willing to answer questions.