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.