When starting this blog, my aim was to authentically share my creative and professional experiences. That includes both the soaring highs as well as the demoralizing lows.
The other day. I realized mid morning that this might be one of those days. As artists, from what I can gather, we all have them. Days rife with angst, doubt, and frustration. Pick your malaise, but generally I feel like a complete failure. Getting re-centered takes awareness, patience, and a heaping dose of compassion. My first attempts are not always met with success.
So I sat down, hoping to push through this recurring scene. My chest tightens and my mouth goes dry. I get up to get something to drink. Which leads me (naturally) to my pantry. Anything good to nibble on?
No, get back to work.
Like an errant child, I return to my seat. And though my intention is to get right down to it, I find myself scrolling through Facebook. And then I remember the basket of clean laundry that needs to be put away, and I find myself in my room purging my closet of anything I haven’t worn in the past year.
Get back to work, I admonish myself.
I sit back down. I stare at my computer. My to-do list feels overly ambitious. The illustration I am working on is off to a good start, but I haven’t figured out what’s really happening with my characters, where the magic is. I’m stuck. My chest tightens again, this time with just a dash of panic. Then the chorus in my head chimes in- that I am lazy and un-talented and will surely never amount to anything. I will never experience any hint of success. Ever again.
This is fear at its finest. Of rejection. Of failure. Of wasted potential and talent. Fear of possibility. Not just of inadequacy but also of success. It’s also frustration, that the creativity, the solution, the answer doesn’t always flow in accordance with my timetable.
The real paradox is that the fear and frustration that I go through is often how I get to the good stuff (for the record, it has taken me several years to realize this). No one said this path would be easy. When I work creatively, when I take care of my little one, when I look over at my husband who I have been together with for 10 years (!)- the stuff in my life that’s really worth having, none of it is easy. Perhaps that’s the real lesson- that the source of my deepest angst and my greatest joy are often one in the same.