I think I live the life of a crazy person. Luckily, my wife is too, so at least I don’t feel alone.
I am twenty six. Unbelievably young by some standards. But also old enough to have two kids and a mortgage by now. Heck, if I lived in the middle ages, I’d be middle aged. Every single one of my friends are doing the smart thing. They have normal, steady jobs. They are buying homes and building equity. They are starting families, and boy, are babies cute. They enjoy the finer things in life, like air conditioning, fireplaces, and cable TV.
My wife and I enjoy none of these things, and there are two possible explanations for this. Either we are sacrificing admirably in a passionate pursuit of our dreams, or we are crazy people. And believe me, sometimes I wonder. We basically live on Kim’s teaching salary, which is surprisingly nothing to brag about, especially with a district-wide pay cut this year.
I have a degree in Illustration; surely I could attain a nice staff design job somewhere and finally the days of Kraft macaroni and cheese in a box would be gone forever! But we decide two years ago that I should pursue “Kim & Jason” full time, for that was the only way to get it off the ground. And that is what the Dream required of us.
Two years later, and I can’t believe how far we’ve come, but sometimes it seems like it would be a lot easier (and saner) if we traded it in for the safe job and the two weeks paid vacation. Kim and I want to have kids, and as any young couple who’ve been married for more than a year know, there is a lot of external pressure to get crankin’. I can’t wait for the day when I can put my creativity to use video taping my kids jumping into leaves, and teaching them how to use the sharpener on the back of the Crayola box.
But the idea of having kids has been pushed off for now – and for who knows how long. My Dad always said that although he and my Mom didn’t have extra money to invest in the stock market, they viewed their kids as their biggest investment. I always thought that was pretty neat. I guess in a way, while all our friends are investing in homes and building equity for themselves, Kim and I are investing in our future, building equity in our dream, and hopefully paving the way to an opportunity to make a real difference.
One thing our life is not is ordinary. But I don’t think I’d trade this life in for an ordinary one. I haven’t yet. I know I’m supposed to be doing “Kim & Jason.” I know it’s making a tiny difference – at least to a few people. Fortunately, there is no one who believes that more than Kim. But on a weekly basis, we wonder to ourselves if we truly are indeed crazy. In a recent advertising campaign from Apple Computer, a favorite company of mine, the following statement was made: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Well, here’s to the crazy ones. And here’s hoping that I’m crazy enough.
Karen Lamis says
Keep up the “craziness.” You know the old saying is so true, “That the grass is always greener in someone else’s backyard.” I totally know what you are going through though. We were once at your stage of life and I know how impatient I was at times to get things going….But, I kept thinking of “The Big Picture.” I knew that the tough times we were enduring were only small stepping stones to getting to “The Big Picture.” Our “Big Picture” was all the things you are dreaming of too…. financial security, a new home, kiddos, etc. And now that we are living “The Big Picture,” I must tell you this…. It was worth the wait….We can sit back and say, “Yes, the hard work and sacrifice did pay off now.” We are enjoying the stage of life that we are in, but if we would have rushed to get to this point, I really think we wouldn’t be as comfortable. So what I’m trying to say is this, you guys are still very young and now is the time to pursue these dreams. There is plenty of time for the house, kids, etc. The Lord has big plans for you and in His time, you will know what He wants you to do. Just keep plugging away and looking at the “Big Picture.” You both are admirable people and most people wouldn’t have the guts to sacrifice their lifestyles like you two have. Don’t get down on yourselves.We all believe in you and in your mission. Kim and Jason has given joy and inspiration to many lives. We love you guys!
Jill Tice says
I have known you since kindergarden and it is beautifl to see you doing what you have loved for so many years. I remember back in our Peru Catholic days we had an art contest in 1st or 2nd grade and we both drew a picture of E.T. and I won…a book gift certificate…WHOOPIE! Reading your strip online and seeing this whole website proves who really won! Here I am with an art degree (I studied painting) working in the 9-5 corporate world…for what??? For Saturday and Sunday? Well, Monday always comes after Sunday… For 21 days paid vacation? Those days run out after 21… For my salary??? Most of us work to live, not live to work like yourself. Sure I would love to leave my job to listen to Pearl Jam and paint all day, but you know what, I am too scared. You love what you do and there is no price on that. Stay crazy, you inspire more than you know!
Mr. Daniel says
Well, Jason, not to get off the main topic at hand, but according to some theorists, scientists, and psychologists, there’s a rather stronger link between creativity and schizophrenia than we care to realize.
Always comforting to know. But hey, long live the craziness, I say!