In 2020 I’m starting my online art school; right here, on my own website. Why am I pursuing this goal? How am I going to get there? And what do I need to tackle it? I’d love to take you along on this journey and share my struggles and victories. I’ll be talking about this bi-weekly in this series of blogs.
“…bi-weekly”, she said. I sounded great in my head, at the time. So do a lot of other things on the days you wake up with enough creative energy to move mountains. And even enough to forget that you have a history of using up that energy quicker than an old-school lightbulb, leaving very little left for the days to come.
I think for many of us, the past few months have been a unique situation to say the least. I was happy to see many can find comfort in art. But I also relate to those who are unable to pick up pencil or brush during these times.
For a long while, I told myself that my lack of energy and flow was due to these events. At the same time, it felt a bit like cheating; I don’t have 3 kids to homeschool , only one and homeschooling lasted for a few weeks. I haven’t lost anyone due to Covid or issues caused by the pandemic. I was able to manage the impact on my income well enough. And my family and I are healthy.
So of course I started out with telling myself I needed to stop complaining and get to work because there was nothing seriously stopping me. Maybe some of you know that specific voice in your head; it sounds like you’re talking to a group of 3 year-olds. Or a dog. “Chop, chop, let’s get a move on now.”
But I didn’t move on, and I couldn’t get anything done. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m no 3-year-old and was never a dog and don’t respond anymore to simple cues, when more complex matters are in the way. Sound elitist? Yeah, that was my first thought as well. While the world is suffering, I saw myself sitting here with my first-world-problems. “Maybe if it’s all so damn hard for you, you should just go work at a supermarket and let someone else run a business”, I thought. “You’re such a snob.”, the voice replied.
The thing is, it’s all old news to me and many of us. That pattern of bringing yourself down whenever you have your eye on something you really want. Running away from opportunities and not even giving yourself a chance at getting to your goal.
“Oh well, I guess it wasn’t for me after all”
“It’s probably better this way”
“I should just be content with whatever I have now”
Blegh. I look at myself in the mirror and my brain starts spitting out excuses, one after the other. Corona. Mean people. Mental health issues. And for some reason (could it be age?) I can suddenly see beyond it. I can see that, even without a global pandemic, a world full of assholes and a brain chemistry that requires some extra maintenance, I would still be stuck in this same place because I don’t believe that I deserve to succeed.
Is “admitting” to this the key? I don’t know. Maybe there is no key, though any life coach will probably tell you otherwise for the right price. I do know from past experience that whenever I’m stuck with something, I throw it out into the art community and feel lighter. So this update is just that; completely self-centered and in my own best interest.
At the time I was writing this, I hadn’t done anything all week. Then I started doing stuff, just to get my mind off the fact I hadn’t yet posted this blog. It takes whatever it takes right? Because two months later I managed to wrap up my first ever live course on this website. I don’t want that to sound like some “at the end I prevailed” conclusion because it’s not. It hurt at times and brought back a lot of bad memories from my previous work. I freak out at least twice a day thinking something broke my website. But I think it’s crucial to go through these feelings, to be kind to them. They’re there to protect you even though there’s no direct danger anymore. I read people’s positive messages and try to breathe, tell myself it’s ok. It’s not a quick fix, but a slow and tiring process, up and down, back and forth and unworthy of any hipster mindfulness Instagram hashtag. But it works because I’m here, and you’re here reading this. Thank you for that.