I can't even remember the last time I posted an entry. I mean, I can always check the date and find out how long it's been, but I can't actually recall sitting and writing those words. I can't remember what mind set I was in, what I was feeling, what I was doing with my life. Isn't that awful? This, my business and my passion and I can't even remember the last time I invested in it.
I got trapped in a big mess of tangled ideas, thoughts, and negative energy around things, and truth be told I've been hiding. So scared that I might not be the best, that people might not like my work or that everything won't be perfect. It's frozen me with terror. The fear of rejection and of getting it wrong has led me to abandon what truly makes me happy. And that is the most ridiculous notion I think we as humans can come up with. To fear failure so much that we don't even try. So dumb.
After finally taking that last step and quitting my job to pursue my illustration, writing and art full time I thought to myself, "this is it!" I thought there would be this enormous spiritual fanfare where my soul was free and everything would just fall in to place. But of course that wasn't the case, this is not some montage in a Lifetime movie. The next day was just the same as the day before. Only I was unemployed. No fanfare, no universal clarity, nothing. Just another day.
And so I struggled internally, like we all do, with what I was doing with my life. Questioning my own happiness like I was conducting an interview for employment in my life - where are you coming from, happiness? Where do you see yourself in three years? What are your credentials, are you real? Are you worth it?
Have we all been in a situation like this where we put the struggle of finding happiness ahead of happiness itself? I think we have, and we try and fob it of as 'life.'
Thank the mother of Zeus I met the most incredible woman at a business networking meeting. Her name is Anne, and I have never been inspired by someone more. I'll let you read her blog here and discover for yourself how wonderful she is. For me, she finally made me be totally honest with myself, and taught me a thing or two about my blustering ego and the importance of self care.
She made me turn a corner. She made me realize things about myself that I had always known, right down in the dark depths of myself that my ego blocked me from exploring. She started a reaction within me to start moving those self-made blockades in the way of me becoming everything I ever wanted to. All it takes is giving yourself a chance. Something that I have to give credit to Pete also for saying to me maybe about 21,000 times, but it's so different when it's a partner, isn't it? Somehow, it doesn't count. Sorry Pete...
Meeting her and talking to her made me start to think about things differently. And try to stop listening to those negative voices in my head, that imaginary audience that constantly tells me I will fail. But what's so bad about failing? Better to try and fail, than to never try at all? I ask myself, where is this pressure coming from? This pressure every day when I arrive in my studio to perform, to be out there, to be a success, to work hard, to pave my own way and earn my keep - where is that coming from? Is there a mob of people with pitch forks and a copy of my bank statements outside my window?
No. It's coming from within. It's coming from me.
I am, as of right now, the last thing standing in my way of achieving great things. This fear of not impressing everyone on the planet with what I can create has a rope around my neck and its pulling me back. I'm pulling me back.
I realized that quitting my job wasn't the last step to being a full time artist - it was the first. There is a lot of work ahead. Hard work, long hours, and unconventional methods. And that's a hard enough journey in itself. I don't need the extra weight of self loathing, guilt, fear, and all the rest on my back like some demonic backpack.
So what can I do?
I just do. There are a thousand reasons and excuses why I shouldn't do this, why it might not be the best idea, why it might not work out, why I might fail. But strip all of that away and ask that simple question, away from money, away from reputation, away from success, other people's opinions, away from all of that noise!
Are you happy?
That 'yes' needs to be the loudest noise in my head right now, but even if it gets drowned out from time to time, I need to just crack on and do what I love to do. For me. And for my happiness, who it turns out is the best life candidate.