Recently I’ve found myself being overly introspective. I’ve been going through a period in my freelance career where I’m either getting low paid work that I feel really enthused about or medium-grade paid work that I could give a toss about. I found myself at a crossroads. I contemplated giving it all up and just getting a steady paycheck job where I could just be another cog in a larger machine. At least then I was sure to have steady maintenance and feel connected to something, regardless the size of my contribution. Then this happened:
The video (from Thai Good Stories) popped up on my Facebook feed and I watched it. Normally I just scroll past videos posted on a friend-of-a-friend’s page thinking it’s another stupid cat video or a baby doing skateboard tricks in a ring of fire, but something compelled me to watch this. So I did. I watched it from beginning to end without pause. Something rare happened: out of nowhere, I began to cry. I couldn’t explain it, nor could I have imagined that a short video on Facebook could move me so much to cause my eyes to leak salt water. If this weren’t me we were talking about, it wouldn’t be anything special, a man crying. But it is me, all 175 horror movie watching, heavy metal listening, monster loving, lone wolf pounds of me. I was bawling.
You see what this video did was remind me why I started freelancing in the first place, and why I decided to start McKoy Creative, the little creative engine that could. I didn’t start this path for the paycheck (although getting paid is very nice), or for any particular amount of fame. I don’t stay up late nights with a cup of coffee in one hand and a stylus in the other to see my name in magazines or to win awards. I do this, all of it simply because I love doing it. Even when I don’t I still do. More than that, I do it because I like helping people. Let me clarify: I like helping the right people. Helping people solve problems creatively brings me joy, more than any amount of press or lump sum of money. It makes me feel alive. And when I see the faces of the people I help (or receive an email saying “Thank you so much, this is awesome!”), I feel like I just punched all the evil in the world in the face. And for that reason, I will continue to do what it is that I do. I love punching evil in the face.
I am already a cog in a larger machine, I have no delusions about that. But the machine I’m a part of is a machine of greatness. It may not receive all the updates, it may not get regular check-ups, and it often needs rebooting, but it’s a good little machine. It’s a machine that works, and that works for me.
-The Real McKoy