The clock on my deskphone blinks a solemn "11:20 AM", reminding me I only have 40 minutes of my lunch hour remaining. Lunch itself was devoured in less that time, while I depleted the contents of my feed-reader and scanned a few websites. The typical course of the day is for me to go back to work at this point, saving any pursuits of my non-working life for off hours when I'm well away from my desk.

It seems, however, that less and less happens while I'm away from my desk. Work has taken over my life, my demanding work-out regimen feasting on the remains. As a result, I barely have the time to relax let alone be creative. It becomes more and more difficult to ignore the creeping thought that I should simply give up creative pursuits. The weary mantra of "There's no time nor energy for anything else" seems a sad stereotype. "Occasionally, I find the time," I begin, squaking some lackluster justification to complete the sutra. Perhaps it's true that I'm simply not at the point in my life where I can sustain anything else.

You'd think that giving up would provide me with comfort. "Give yourself a break," "Take some time off," "It'll come back." My friends do try to help, but taking their advice to heart only seems to make me feel more and more confined. I can't escape the demands of my life, I can't walk through the immaculate gate in my mind that leads to imagined people and realities. I seem forever chained in the present, free only to catch glimpses through the doorway before it's slammed shut once more.

When writing software, I can fly. I can speed through intricate, ever-changing machines in a infinite field of electric blue.
When writing stories, I'm an invisible telepathic. I can listen in on conversations and peer into secret dreams.
When drawing, I don't exist at all. The world consists only of shape, stroke, and motion. Color is solitary expression.

I'm tired of being chained. I'm even more tired of being aware I am chained.

For all my artful descriptions, there doesn't seem to be any easy solutions. There seems even less a simple explanation for my state.  Maybe there aren't any, maybe the only thing to do is shrug off the weight and sound of clanking metal, reach for the doorknob and turn...