I'm not in familiar locations right now, hence a slowdown in posts and an earlier failed attempt to post from my iPod Touch. This post probably would have been too long to type on that anyway. Well, back at a laptop, I have more empty pages to stare at as I attempt to start this script but, of course, empty pages aren't always bad.
I've always hated deadlines. I respect them. I never miss them. But I hate them. They are like this oncoming train and you're standing right on the tracks, trying to build a wall strong enough to stop it before it crushes you.
I've often thought it would be great to have a day to day job. You know, like retail, or something. There are plenty of them - jobs that aren't easy by any means but you've succeeded if you survive the day and you just start it all over again the next day. There are no major events that will make or break you. You can do your day's work, go home and that's it.
Could well be a 'greener grass' thing.
But one thing about long projects and deadlines is that they give you some clear chapter breaks in your life. Time to pause. To re-evaluate. And the opportunity to start fresh.
A major chapter break happened when I moved from advertising to children's programming. I had been diagnosed with depression, was on meds but was really in a bad place. Like, worse than I think anyone including myself knew. It's only looking back on it now that I can know that. And say it. It was a dark time. One way or another, my life was going to change. I didn't know if I'd survive that change. I didn't know if anyone would be with me if I did.
The big problem with depression is that it clouds everything. You can't trust anything in your own mind and that is a frightening prospect. It's dangerous to make any big moves based on clouded judgement and yet a complete change just might be that thing that lifts you.
But I was coming to the end of something.
I took a break. Somewhere, deep down, I think I knew I could never make another ad. They were pointless soul-destroying blots on society, cancers pushed by corporations upon corporations. If you follow the chain of ownership long enough, anyone you work for will turn out to be pure evil. What they were destroyed any and all artistic merit. They were filth.
My last ad was for a product by a company owned by Pfizer.
I was finished.
My career could have ended right there. I was lost. And then life just gave me a break. Said, this guy's had enough, let's give him something better. Things happened simultaneously - meds kicked in doing their thing, I had a break, a holiday that helped take me away from my previous life and, best of all, I was handed the opportunity to work on a children's show that I loved.
And a chapter ended. A new one began.
With the end of the last project, one that wasn't all that enjoyable spread over a very tough year for me, it brings with it a new chapter end. A complete close. A complete new start. We're well into 2009 now but I think only now can I really say goodbye to 2008. Only now can I let it go.
And so I begin again. I wouldn't get that clean a break working in a shop, would I?