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I’ve been working a lot this year. Different kinds of jobs: short-term, longer-term, contract, one-off, productive, tedious, sketchy.

For each job I’ve had to take on different mindsets, apply different skills and figure out what combination of my talent and ability will best enable me in each position.

It’s a tricky way to live.

I think a lot about wanting to do other things. Some of my intended projects left abandoned temporarily while I juggle the many responsibilities of working. I often tell my inner artist to be patient, that she needs to be able to sustain herself in order to have the muscle to pursue her desires.

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But it’s not an easy thing to hear daily. It’s even harder to say it daily.

I’ve been meeting all kinds of people at work though, and as I expand I come to appreciate more and more the multiplicity of experiences that we each have, and in particular, that I have. Meeting other people makes me aware of my own life, and what it means to be me.

Artists who remain in isolation too long might run into the danger of blinders, where we don’t see what else there is, and what more there is beyond the subject and process of our craft – since that to us is our truth. But putting on a different kind of hat, becoming a different type of functioning member of society gives me the chance to turn around and look at myself from the outside in, and I believe that these moments will eventually show up in my art as new ways of looking at the truth.

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Who knows when the time will come to retire the hat I currently wear in favour of other kinds?

Most importantly, when it does come, I want embrace the change with a steady walk, and a patient ear to hear what direction the wind is blowing in, and carry on.

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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