I think back on 2016, and it seemed as if I was playing the longest game of dodge ball ever. It was like I was starring in one of those 90's American movies where the scrawny preteen suffers from multiple war wounds during the dreaded P.E. class.
One of the bombs I had to dodge was one that I never anticipated facing so early on in my career: layoffs. Yeah, that "L" word.
To sum it up without boring you, it was essentially 5 months of playing a corporate limbo game, wondering if there is any point putting any effort into your work since you're not sure if you're getting a paycheck in a few months.
So, how did I deal with this? Depending on what phase of my life you knew me, you could be surprised or not fazed at all. I drank a lot, smoked (hookah) even more, stopped working out, and stayed up way too late on weeknights, only to wake up and do it all over again. My work day consisted of me sitting outside with my coworkers, contemplating new sources to obtain money if we lost our jobs. Yes, we (jokingly) considered starting up a meth lab in a trailer, Breaking Bad style. That's what my degree is good for right?
I wavered dramatically between being a reckless teenager and a stressed out adult. I would wake up every morning and repeat to myself that it's not the end of the world if I lost my job, but would come back from work feeling crushed that the layoff date was one day closer.
It was an incredibly demoralizing time in which I had to learn that you can't plan any shit out. You never know when some blemish will stain the perfect life you had planned to paint. When you want something to be crimson red, it'll turn out hot pink. In the end, you step back and admire your life mural from a broader view point and realize that the hot pink looked better anyways. I'm not going to say that I always practice this, but I have at least adopted it.
I'm never going to be passive in terms of painting this life mural. After all, you're the only artist who can start and finish it. But at the same time, if something doesn't turn out as you envisioned, that's when you keep going and turn a blemish into an inspiration.
And that's what you call a masterpiece.