I was thinking about this the other day, but do you all realize just how awesome school use to be? I'm not talking about college, I'm talking about high school. We basically got to take any class we wanted (that was offered) or join any club, for free! Free dance classes, free swimming lessons, free music classes, free drama, language, or writing classes... this list goes on! Why didn't anybody tell us that in a few years we'd have to spend our hard earned coins on all of these things? Did we realize how valuable all of these skills would be? Since I'm trying to get into more out of the house activities, I've been looking up a number of these classes in the real world. A beginner dance class, similar to one I would've probably taken in high school, is now upwards of $20 a pop! And that's just for one class! All of this just made me realize how valuable time and effort is being an adult. Is there ever such a thing as free time anymore?
I will begin by discussing another similarity to high school days. Friendship. Back then, we had built in friends whom we HAD to see every day, sort of forcing us to create bonds. Also, there were all the group projects that inclined us to work together after normal school hours. There were many times when a bunch of us would meet over someones house to work on a particular assignment. It was fun! As tighter friendships would form, we'd then start to go over each other's houses just to hang out with no particular goal in mind. These days, the times of simply hanging for no reason are few and far between among friends. We hang more so (actually most so) out of convenience than anything else. The stock of our time has significantly went up. If we aren't getting something valuable out of spending time with another person, we probably won't be around. I've even had people flat out tell me that meeting up on their day off (taking the train into the city on a day they aren't getting paid) was asking a lot. In a world where we now have to use our time to make money to pay our bills to live, it's hard to rationalize hanging out "for free" sometimes. Even with our closest friends.
In a more professional sense, our free time is also precious when it comes to our skills and talents that we've acquired over the years. The more time it's taken us to perfect a craft, the higher our value goes. I admit that even I have this problem sometimes. Let's take modeling for example. Now I know I'm no Tyra Banks circa the early 2000s, but I have been doing it for a while, I know what I'm doing, and have some fairly notable modeling accolades under my belt. I've been paid significantly over the years for doing so. There are, however, a few people I know that still will ask me if I'm available to do shoots for them. Where is the line though? Is it unheard of to let these people know some rates or something? Or do they expect it "for free" since we know each other? It's all a slippery slope. A person like myself cares very little about money anyway, but I do understand to some degree about fairness and mutual beneficiality.
This does make it harder for people to work together in a more organic sense, as we did when we were in our school days. It's mostly about the money now. Just think of all the magic that isn't being created from collaboration due to lack of funds. People rarely work together unless you pay them, but what if it wasn't like that. What if we partly used our time for things that we believe in or enjoy? Yes, we all have to make a living somehow, but I do think that getting paid being the sole reason for doing things is very limiting to creative possibilities. There was an episode of the Office (Season 7, episode 5 in case you were wondering... I'm an addict) where Andy asks Daryl to do jam sessions with his band. Daryl wasn't into it until Andy offered to pay him. By the end of the episode, that start really getting into this song they're writing, but they run out of time. Andy asks how much for another half hour, and they Daryl says don't worry about it... then they're just jammin'! It's beautiful!
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about monetary restrictions and we'd all just do what we love all day, hang out with the people we want to hang out with, and live happily ever after. For most, this just isn't the case, and doing anything outside of work is often a stretch. Our creative friends, while enjoying their craft, still want to be able to make a living and their skill not to be taken for granted. Me, I just want to collaborate on something worthwhile and magical... money being the least important factor. I suppose this is why they say, do something that you love to the point where under the right circumstance, you'd do it for free. It's important to not get so caught up in the money where we forget to just enjoy what it is we're doing... where we miss great opportunities because they aren't "worth it". Also, I do know how hard it is to NOT do things out of sheer convenience, like hanging out with your friends, but sometimes going out of your way shows just how much you really care. A great quote to accompany this post, "We make time for what's important to us". We truly do! We always seem to find free time for the things we really want. If we don't, it's just not something we want very much now is it? Welp, as usual, let me know what you think! Perhaps I just have more free time than I know what to do with... but I'm always open to jam sessions at my apartment!
P.s. I HAVE noticed a phenomenon where people will somehow miraculously make time if there is a possibility for sex... I know a few people guilty of this! You ask them to hang out, and they have an excuse, only to find out that the excuse was someone they found to get busy with!
P.p.s. Fun fact: Did you know, I almost went to an all girl high school? Yeap! The main reason I didn't was that it was a private tuition school (which obviously my family couldn't afford).
P.p.p.s. Another school fun fact: I got an "F" in my 9th-grade dance class! Now let me explain though, I was clearly an amazing dancer and did everything perfectly, BUT there was a written test that was supposedly 50% of our grade, that we couldn't make up, and I was absent that day! Nonsense!