The Perks of Taking Action

Company Culture Posted Aug 24, 2018 by Jennifer Torode

One day, in late June while I was commuting to work on the glamorous MBTA’s Orange Line, I realized that I felt I was on a hamster wheel or in the movie, Ground Hog Day. I found myself getting bored with my same old routine and was a bit unfulfilled. I can guarantee that even on that day, someone on the same train was thinking the same thing. No matter how awesome your job or life may be, it’s bound to happen.

The one thing that I always abided by in my life is keeping things in balance and working at CHEN PR has afforded me a great work/life balance. So, as I watch each subway station pass by, I said to myself, “Take an art class after work! It’s been a few years and you always feel so incredible when you do.”

Boston Center for Adult Education

That day, I signed up for an art class through the Boston Center for Adult Education for the month of July. It was an art class that focused on drawing different architecture across the beautiful city of Boston. In all honesty, I really just signed up to mix things up and to kick boredom in the belly, but it turned out to be one of my favorite adventures this summer. Everything about it was inspiring—from the young, super sweet and talented twenty-something artist instructor named Eil Portman, the eclectic group of students from all points of the city and spanning all ages, walking to and from each part of the city on a summer’s night, to observing this amazing city humming before me.

“One of my sketches from The North End session—St. Stephen’s Catholic Church on Hanover St.

Each week, we’d meet at a different location selected by Eli The Magnificent. We’d venture to the Charles River and then our mission was to meet him in the South End one week and the North End the next. At the start of each class, he’d walk us through his artist of the week that he selected. He’d tell us about the artist’s life, what style of painting they gravitated towards in that time period, who inspired them, were they starving artists or commissioned by the wealthy, etc. and he’d pass around samples of their work before giving us our instructions for the evening’s class. After two hours of drawing, all the students lined up their sketches for all to see and I was amazed at the diverse pool of talent and how each one of us had such unique styles. Some students were very detailed and meticulous while others simply colored outside the lines, but side by side, they all stood out as masterpieces.

This summer brought me many twists and turns, and this art class allowed me to soar above the clouds and for two hours each Monday night in the sweltering heat in July, I found peace and happiness. Walking home after each class with my art supplies and sketch pad tucked within my bag, I felt like a carefree child that completed a mission to find joy in the simplest of ways—sketching, talking and sharing with me peers.

No matter what type of job you may hold, how long your laundry list of obligations may be or whether you’re in a good place in your life or in the middle of one of life’s storms, taking a class of any kind, allows you to experience new things and creates an opportunity to meet new people. Simply put, taking action, no matter how small, can make all the difference.