Sunday, February 22, 2009
I AM AN ARTIST HEAR ME ROAR!
I'm back! Sorry I've been absent. I've been juggling late nights, a shitload of commuting, a million different jobs, and sanity all at once, so please forgive me.
....which all got me thinking, since that's what I do.....
When you're busy chasing a dream, often THANKLESSLY- at what point do you stop??
Obviously, to me the answer is "Never." If you continue pursuing then there's absolutely no other option than for you to succeed, because you have no other choice. Period. When there is no backup plan, there is no safety net, you can't spin off into the oblivion on nothingness- you just must succeed. AND THEN, of course that strong, "never" becomes..."how much longer can I ACTUALLY do this?" It becomes, "but I need to be able to function like a normal adult..."
or the worst mindfuck of all, "what if I really never 'make it'?"
It's at the point where the momentum is enough to have me spinning out of control with a racing mind and an empty tank of gas and circles under my eyes- but no money to fill the tank. Both literally and figuratively. It's at the point when the most exciting part of the evening are the free drink tickets allotted to the band.
When my freelancing work is taking up several hours of my day but I still have yet to see the success I'm looking for....
and then, what if I never do? What if it's all just busy work and we're all just little ants, scurrying about and burning mind fuel on fear and doubt, until one day we hunker down and say "fuck dreams, I'm tired. The ones in my sleep will do."
AND THEN, I feel like an asshole for being in a constant state of WANT or of pursuit...its like I'm spitting on my present as if it weren't good enough, even though it is PLENTY. I love my life. I have a beautiful family, incredible friends, and an amazing man. I'm pursuing not one, but several of my dreams and have already achieved so much as it is....and then there's the BUT, the BUT; what if the money continues to be "just enough" to pay the bills (barely) and all of the vision boards I've created are just a waste of a perfectly good glue stick.
I'm at the edge where I could opt for security or I could continue to scramble. Daily digging, hitting the pavement, scratching with nails and raw fingertips until I get what I want...or find a better angle, a better connection, a more lucrative opportunity. Huffing and puffing up a steep and unkind hill, then waking up in the morning smelling like a dive bar and a pack of Parliaments.
So there's moments, just MOMENTS, in the day when I think- "what if this is IT? What now?" Then I usually opt for doing things like Googling the word dessert to distract from my inner Crazy that wants to threaten me with visions of doom, a big ass, a tiny house and weekly karaoke contests at the local Suburban strip mall bar.
I watched a video the other day by Elizabeth Gilbert on TED.COM and she said something that really struck me (I'm paraphrasing) about how as artists people are constantly asking if we're "afraid", what if we can't make it, what if we've already done our best work, etc. etc. Then she said she tells them, "My Dad was a chemical engineer. That is what he did, and no one ever asked him if he were afraid."
SO WHO AM I? Who am I that I shouldn't be afraid of being, because it simply IS.
I'm not a chemical engineer, or an accountant. I'm not a school teacher or a dental assistant. I don't work retail, or sales. I don't have the personality for 9-5, I don't have the patience to teach children.
I AM A WRITER. A MUSICIAN. A TRAVELER.
.....So, that is what I will be.
WHAT ARE YOU????