They Fear Your Success

“The substance of them is hatred for any man who loves his work. That’s the only kind they fear. I don’t know why.”  Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

In my life I’ve encountered little of what Hazel Dooney refered to as “tall poppy syndrome.” The above quote from the fountainhead addresses it too. I’ve mostly been able to surround myself with friends who are allies against the “man” and the monotony of the DayJob, they all wished they were somewhere else too. Discussions of art and music are more common at company gatherings than discussions about business or the bottom line, at least for those of us on the front line. I have no idea what it’s like for the bigwigs in the office, those I spent nearly 6 months working with them I saw nothing from them than diehard dedication to the job. Though I know several of my good friends who also work in the office, for which I was a terrible match, have outside interests.

In my circle of peers, even those who have climbed the corporate step ladder with me, I’ve encounter mostly closeted artists and musicians, desperately seeking their break. Some have given up and seek only to enjoy the arts. As such my friends and coworkers have always been supportive of me.

My schedule is from 32 to 36 hours a week, some weeks more as needed. I work those hours to allow me more time to work on my classes and art, which I refer to at work as “my second job.” In my mind I usually also refer to it as “my real job.” Today I made the comment about “my 2nd job” infront of someone who has never heard me use the term. Squinting at me she stated, “What second job?” To which I replied, “I’m self employed, my art classes.” In a derisive tone she said, “Well, that’s online!” At that very moment I wanted to smack myself in the forehead or bang my head against the wall; instead I said “Well, I get paid to do it and I do HAVE to be physically there for the class, which is live.”

I haven’t felt that kind of derisive attention to my chosen profession in years, possibly since high school, when I told someone I wanted to be an artist and I was told “That’s retarded, you should go into physics, you’re good at that.” I believe that same person suggested I go for the paper company scholarship, which is funny, because all the paper mills in Maine have closed down and move to China. Yet, here I am teaching art online while my classmates that worked for the paper company are out of jobs.

My point is, though I had put my head up my arse about it, is that people still fear the passion, they will ridicule you and fight you for attention and try and force you to failure.