Three years ago I quit my job working in sales because I wanted to make stuff and experiment to see if I could survive as a maker/artist.
I wanted to step into the unknown of the dreams and ideas that I had. These were the thoughts I had that were so easy to write off as silly, sinful, or vain. Part of the learning that took place for me was that my ideas were not silly; on the contrary, I discovered that they were actually a walk of faith.
It turned out that while life was unstable and somewhat scary, I stumbled into a deeper state of living. This state could potentially be called 'living the dream.'
While 'living the dream' can easily sound very idealistic and unreal, it became something that was real, and it was becoming real (and still is becoming real). 'Living the dream' shifted from an adjective to a verb, from being a way I described how I was feeling about life to the thing that I was doing with my life—living out the dream. It was something that took shape as I walked toward it.
It has been over three years now, and miraculously I have survived. More than that, I have travelled to numerous countries, I have been a part of some really cool projects, I have gotten married, I have turned this old warehouse into a creative hub, I have had the privilege to have inspired others to try things, I managed to save some money, and I have even lost an eye—yes, lost an eye. It has been a big three years.
Initially I gave myself three years to attempt some of my ideas. My thought was that people spend three years of their life studying for a degree, and almost always come out with debt. I thought that if I can try to learn as much as I can in three years and I don't come out with debt that would be a good time. Like I said earlier, I managed to even save a bit...
I gave myself three years and three thousand dollars of working capital, and if I used that money up I would go back to what many people had suggested I do in the first place, and get a 'real job.' I was pretty determined to not have to go back and get a real job. This would prove to be much harder than I had hoped.
The idea was always that if I got to the end of the three years without going broke I would then re-evaluate and reshape how I was going to further work out the ideas that I have been mulling on all my adult life. The good news is that I have made it to the end of the three years, it has actually been three and a half years now, and that means that the time to re-evaluate is now.
'To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to loose one's self'
— Soren Kierkegaard.
I have had two main aspects of daring life venture: the first was to quit my job and start my creative venture; the second was to lease out, and live in this warehouse space with my friend, in attempt to make the world a better place through creativity, hospitality, and bringing people together. This is a venture that I have written about elsewhere and all I will say about it now was that it has been a wild and costly idea thus far.
Initially I had wanted to 'make stuff' because I had been in sales where I used my mouth to sell tools to people. This was a great job and I really enjoyed it, in fact I love tools! The thing was that my hands had grown itchy because I wanted to actually create things, and my mouth longed to utter more meaningful words.
The last three and a half years have been largely an exercise in working with my hands. My mouth, however, still longs to speak meaning and truth. The next daring aspect of my venture is in seeking to capture and communicate words and messages of meaning and beauty, and to share them with as many people as possible. I still want to create good work with my hands, but I believe it is time for my mouth to return to its place as the key tool in my life to achieve that which I am hoping to.
This is not a new direction, but a coming full circle, a continuation to dare to 'live the dream,' to try ideas, and to step toward what I don't know exists. I am not sure if I will lose money, or look like a fool, or never have anything worth saying in my whole life. But, I feel this is where I am being drawn, and this is something I must try with courage and thoroughness.
Lord help me to seek your Kingdom well!
Jared Diprose is a self-employed Artisan and codirector of the Mosaic Workshop. He has a degree in Theology, and believes that words shape worlds. He is married to Sierra. You can see some of his work at www.jareddiprose.co.nz and you can check out The Mosaic Workshop at www.facebook.com/workshopmosaic
Jared Diprose's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jareddiprose.html