I'm not giving up.

So there.

There is a part of me that, having been raised in a world where dreams don’t matter and don’t count, thinks I need to give up this silly artist game already and just go home. Let it go. Give it up.

It thinks I’ve failed. In it’s eyes, I tried a whole bunch of stuff and not too much of it worked out, in the monetary sense. Since that’s it’s only measuring stick, as far it’s concerned, I failed. Faceplanted it. Tripped, fell and just shouldn’t bother getting back up.

This voice annoys me.

I understand that it’s goal is to keep me safe, to protect me from the dangers of life. But it annoys me because it is the voice of every single person who never believed in me. It is the voice of every single adult who stared at me like I was crazy when I said I was going to be an artist.

Until they told me I was crazy, it never even occurred to me that I couldn’t succeed. I still have that part of me, that part that believes 100% that  I can do this, that I’ll be fine. Somewhere, deep down inside, I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I know that this is the right path for me.

That voice just gets in the way far too often. It wants results. It needs success, right here, right now. I’d better be bloody famous, or it thinks I’ve failed. Because if I’m going to do something this insane, I’d better get it all right, straight away.

But life isn’t like that. Life isn’t about getting it all right the first time. I’ve taken a bunch of risks this year, and quite frankly, very few of them turned out very well. Scratch that – none of them turned out very well.

But that’s my own damned fault. I’m the one who didn’t listen to myself, I’m the one who let others dictate for me what would, and would not be successful. I’m the one who gave away my power to others who “knew” better.

But they didn’t. Sure, they knew better for themselves. Just not for me.

And it’s just occurred to me that all this time, I’ve been waiting for permission, permission from someone else, to be who I am and do what I want. Like I’m waiting for someone to say, it’s okay, you can go do all the big things you dream about now. You can paint the giant paintings, you can be wildly ambitious and wildly successful.

But no one gives you the permission to do that. No one comes up to you and says, “Okay, Sarah, it’s cool now. You can go do your big show, and paint those giant paintings.” Or be famous, or a portrait artist, or whatever it is. I’m the only one who can do that. I’m the only who can give myself permission to do those things.

I never even realized that it was permission I was waiting for until I was reading an interview with a famous artist and she talked about how she painted these huge paintings and put on her first show. And I thought – she just went and did it. No one told her she could. She just did.

What if I just did that too? What if I just started acting like success was already a given? Like I was allowed to go for it and do all these super biggified things the way I dream about? What if I just did them already?

Even if I don’t feel ready for them, I could give myself permission to do them if I wanted to.

So in a completely nonsensical, entirely random post, what I am trying to say is…

I’m not giving up. Not now. Not ever. I’m too damn stubborn. I will keep falling down and I will keep getting back up. Because that is what I do best, more than anything else in the world – better than art, better than writing, better than dancing, better than imitating an alpaca or growing cacti – I am really good at getting back up again.

I don’t give up. Ever.

Comments

  1. says

    Good for you! Don’t ever let go of your dream, of your passion. You are such a talented artist, and it would be a real shame if you just packed it in and gave up. The world needs your art, and you are the only one who can create it!

    When I was 17, I gave up on one of my dreams (writer). When I was 22, I gave up on another dream (musician). I believed that neither one of them was practical, or even attainable for me. I believed all the people who told me that it was silly, stupid, etc., and I let them convince me to do something more practical.

    I have regretted those decisions for my entire adult life. I have compromised, and taken jobs that were “close” to what I wanted to do, or “related” to what I wanted to do, but never what I really wanted to do. To put it in artistic/musician terms, I sold out. I turned my back on my art for commercial (financial) success. It has only been withing the past few months that I have started re-examining those possibilities, and moving my life back into the direction of something that *I* want it to be, not what others want it to be.

    If I could go back in time, I’d kick myself in the ass for giving up on those dreams. So, my advice to you is never give up!!!
    .-= Jay Schryer´s last blog ..Memories Best Left Forgotten =-.

  2. says

    This is my first time seeing your blog and I’m so glad I did. Good for you, for following your heart and living your truth. Giving up is the easy thing to do. Following your dreams can be hard, but oh so necessary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Humility is a gift =-.

  3. says

    “having been raised in a world where dreams don’t matter and don’t count”

    Amen, sister, AMEN. I come from a long line of workaholics who think that a job is just a job and you don’t have to “be” or “do” anything to be happy in life. (Thanks to my very Scottish roots.) I don’t know where I come from then, because for me life isn’t made great by just punching a clock and going home. So, like you, I grew up with this conflict of wanting to pursue my dreams but being stopped by The Voice.

    DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. It has taken me far, far too long to tell that voice to STFU long enough where I can swallow the fear and do something I never thought I could. And I wish I could say that it was *me* who convinced myself, but it was Boyfriend. (I’ll take it, but still.) It would be really douchey to continue to discuss the yay moments I’ve had since making this change, but I just want to let you know that a) I’m with you – the same voice speaks to me; and b) you really CAN do anything you want and dream, it’s just about acting “as if” until you really start believing in yourself without giving yourself a pep talk first.

    You’re incredibly talented. If you give up, I will personally come stalk you until you give in and start again. ;)
    .-= Jurgen Nation´s last blog ..Sunday: A Day of Quiet Reflection and Hate =-.