Sometimes, when I am travelling back home from work, I shut my eyes. In the bus, in the car, in the train. Sometimes, life around me is a bit too overwhelming, even for me.
I work in an industry where advertising and selling form the core of my job. Everyday. Everyday, we come up with ideas on how and where to show ads to people.
To target people who are already looking for your product, to target them when they are reading about your product, when they are talking about your product, target them if they see your ad but don't click on it, who see your ad, click on it, reach your website but buy nothing, to target them if they are reading about or looking for a product that is in some way connected to what you offer.
Not to forget, we also tie in what is offline with what we do online. So there's billboards and announcements, public transport vehicles that are drenched in posters, instillation art ads and print and tv and radio. There are ads on the handles I hold on to for support in a train, behind every seat in a bus, on the entrance gate to my apartment, and stuck into my door's security controls too.
You see, sometimes, it is a bit overwhelming, for me too. No matter how much I love this industry, how much I love my job, how much I want to do it eveyrday, it fills me up and empties me all at the same time. In some odd, unsatisfatory way. So I shut my eyes, block it all out and look at the darkness behind my lids. I feel my breath on my upper lip, and sometimes, if I have stilled down enough, I can even sense the thump-thump of my own heart.
Sounds that tell me I am alive.
Sounds that tell me that I do not need another connecting device, another new shampoo, I do not need that bottle of sauce, I do not need to have a new year's party plan, and I do not have to feel out of place about feeling any of this. Because I am alive. And I can shut out this noise when I want to. Everything I do in this tangible world, I do for these few minutes of quiet.
And that alone is essential.