James' Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New Orleans, LA

JAMES REEVES

Designer, Writer, Teacher & Motorist
Civic Centre New Orleans

“Time is short and there's going to be no magic moment where you're like, 'Now's the time to do it.' No one's going to come to the rescue and say 'That dream you have, we're going to start now.' I spent a lot of time waiting for that to happen. It doesn't happen.”

INTERESTS:

Design Education

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Courage Dedication Desire Determination Family Hard Work Individualism Regrets Societal Pressures Transitions Exploration Goals Simplicity Choices Self-Reflection Education Hobbies & Pastimes Inspiration Passion Chance Money & Financial Security Values Community Support & Encouragement Confidence Success Fulfillment Instincts Beliefs & Faith Conflict Doubt Focus Perseverance Planning Risk Opportunity Fear Negativity Talent Culture

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

book, design, father, graduate school, graphic designer, happiness, happy, inspiration, jobs, mayor, nervous breakdown, oriental rugs, pizza, present, publishing, regrets, values, work, World War II, writer

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Had no idea what he wanted to do or be, so became a "dilettante," doing whatever he felt like.
  • Estimates he had 28 jobs-sold Oriental rugs, delivered pizza, taught grad school-but they all make sense "in the rearview mirror."
  • Says in his grandfather's time, there was a "cohesive storyline," but now, there's not just one track, one career-"everything's up for grabs."
  • Believes the "get a job, get a family" storyline is "crazy," just a cultural norm that we shouldn't feel pressure to follow.
  • Used to measure his success by how much others were making, whether or not they were published, but says that just makes you unhappy.
  • Says if you take a 9-to-5 and work on your passion on your own time, make sure to switch at some point-make your passion your day job.
  • After his book was published, he realized the act of writing, his own sense of accomplishment in finishing meant more than the success.
  • Says if you want to work for yourself, you have to just take the jump and do it; no one's going to be there to extend a hand or give you a push.

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