Image — Time, şaki̇r gökçebağ (2010)
Soundtrack — Everybody Loves the Sunshine, Takuya Kuroda
In a recent article by the Huffington Post, Jamie Varon explored the battle of productivity, and its disregard of humanity, conclusively exposing our contentious and forever failing attempt to control time.
“If it’s not the time, it’s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.” — Jamie Aaron
Eloquent and delicately put … she’s right. So often do we fail to acknowledge the contradictory and extremely paradoxical circumstances we promote in the western world, i.e working hard to enable us to not work hard.
Bombarded with a series of animated emojis and GIFs screams of YASSS! and bulging eyeballs by friends and peers via text, it’s needless to say that they feel the following words should be engraved into my life from now on.
“You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t.”
As a classic response, I follow up with “Guilty, but what other option do we as creatives have?! We face the same expectations as the typical citizen but operate in a field that gives ‘Zero Fucks’ about efficiency yet we continue to succumb to deadlines, are our actions and words contradicting themselves?”
Beyond that flippant response, I’m drawn to look more personally about where our unhealthy relationship with time rears its ugly head. In context to this journey, many creatives are asking (at varying stages in their lives) what are we battling?
Outdated markers imposed on a previous generation:
18 y/o : Identified and focused career choice, moved out of parents home
21 y/o : Three to five-year experience in the career of choice. Going steady with a romantic partner
25 y/o : Married and buying first property
30 y/o : A family (partner and children) Supervisor/manager in company
40 y/o : Securing family legacy apprenticeships for teenage children and next generations wealth.
50 y/o : Paid off mortgage, supporting next generation starting family
60 y/o : Start to retire
In short, we are lacking or underperforming in relation to our expectations, furthermore, we are competing with our predecessors when we are not operating under the same conditions, while simultaneously attempting to maintain relevancy. However, we have failed to distinguish between “Trending” and being “Relevant”. Regardless, why are we still loyal to this framework? How do we remedy this?
Let me say this, I don’t believe humanity can exist without a subjugating framework, so the dependence on this archaic structure is still pertinent because no alternative has been offered.
In absence of new guidelines, I can only rationalise temporary remedies to delay the impending anarchy of freedom by motivating individuals to identify value in all aspects of what we do. It’s said that the most successful point in an artist’s career is their death. Morbid as it is, what’s been marketed and purchased posthumously is a missed opportunity to explore the mind behind the work, BUT the most remembered individuals and movements still exist today not because they were pioneers but because they turned audiences into participants, therefore reducing the demand on the leader.
The goal has always been to control our own time, and not be forced into producing to the point of non-existence, or worse produce ourselves out of existence.