“I was a young, lily-white liberal who majored in social work. I imagined myself as a Dorothea Dix type figure, who was going to save the world. Then I graduated and learned about bureaucracy. So I lowered my goals, and just tried to help a couple of people every day.”
"…I learned about bureaucracy."
The death of all things efficient.
“It seems that the more I tried to make my life about the pursuit of art, the more money controlled my life: collecting unemployment insurance, the humiliation of borrowing money from friends and family, tossing and turning at night while trying to figure out how to pay the rent. To survive I had to work hard jobs and afterwards I’d feel too tired and too stressed to paint. It’s very hard to create under those circumstances. Creativity is a delicate process. Often times I wonder if I should have just pursued a career for the first half of my life, obtained some degree of financial security, and then transitioned into art.”
My grandfather saved me from this very ordeal. As a freshman I was an art major. Why? I liked art. Art made me happy. Granddaddy asked me, “What are you gonna do for money, son?” Typical freshman answer, “I don’t know, Granddaddy, art makes me happy.” “Well, being happy’s fine and all, but you’re going to need to do something to make you some money.” And he was right, so what did I do? I changed from art to English. No money there either without spending more money first.
Lesson? Pick a major that will help you get a job, kids!