The divided self

There is a split in my mind, in my love of life. It makes me crazy.

Painting, photography, writing essays, singing … these make me feel happy and free when I’m immersed in them.

But always the argument from the other side of the brain.

That’s not enough. It’s not practical.

You can’t make a living at that. There’s no money in it.

No one wants your creative work. You’ll just end up in an asylum.

So I apply myself to managing projects, consulting, writing proposals, helping journalists in struggling or so-called democracies. Which is all valuable and worthy.

And when I consider what to do next, that practical brain says that data science is the way to go.

I like math, I love solving real-world problems, I enjoy helping people answer questions.

But when I talk about it, somehow data science just doesn’t feel as good. Maybe that’s because it’s less familiar, much more to learn, and I’m only beginning.

All my life, though, I have wanted both worlds. The art, and the math.

How to do both?

Loads of people have this dilemma. The normal way to solve it is to have your practical day job, and to pursue your art in your free time.

That just doesn’t work for me. It is the source of this crazy-making division in me.

Media development has, at times, brought the two halves together. Working with journalists overseas demands creativity and problem-solving. My best projects had a lot of both.

The other thing that my art and my math sides have in common is this: I love to create content. It’s not so simple as “story-telling.” It is the expression of information, ideas, feelings in a way that resonates with people, that gives them a different perspective.

Here’s hoping that I can improvise a path that brings my divided self together.

Today’s penny is a 2015 because I don’t have a 2016.

jan 2 2015

2 thoughts on “The divided self”

  1. Your life is your art and you are the gift you give the world. I deeply sympathize with the struggle. All will become clear.

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