Back on the horse.


Work in progress, oil on canvas.

Work in progress, oil on canvas.

Since I moved out here at the end of July, my sense of motivation and ambition, my get-up-and-go, had pretty much gotten up and gone. I’ve been drifting along, working a job I don’t enjoy, dissipating my energy, starting to paint again, but not really getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty much directionless. Wandering, like a lost little girl.

Part of it was outside my control, and it’s always been my defense mechanism – when I feel like I can’t handle life, I just kind of drift. I turn into a ghost of myself. I go through the motions as it were. It’s not necessarily depression – I still laugh and enjoy life, but I just can’t seem to get a handle on myself. I dawdle, like a 5 year old who doesn’t want to go inside after recess.

The move, the nude show not doing well, the sudden loss of art sales, the need to get a job, being in debt and worried about making ends meet, my best friend’s sister dying, exhausted and in pain, and more recently, the ruptured ulcer – it all just accumulated to make me feel incredibly overwhelmed. So to a certain extent, I shut down. I just couldn’t deal with it all. I needed a break.

Even though officially my mental vacation ended a while ago, I still haven’t quite gotten back on the horse. I’ve walked up to it, stroked its nose a few times, and maybe gave it a carrot, but nothing monumental. I just didn’t feel like I could. I’d caught a bad case of the discouragement bug.

I can admit it – I’ve been feeling really defeated lately. I couldn’t picture anyone buying my art ever again, and I couldn’t see my way out of this damned smoothie job, and I was just feeling overwhelmed and seriously discouraged. Good things had showed up, and I won’t discount them, but they just felt far away and not enough. It was all stuff out of my control too, and I’ve just been feeling really lost. And separate, I guess you could say.

Yesterday, on my lunch break, eating my bagel and writing, I wrote that maybe I should just accept that no one is ever going to buy my art and that I should just accept it, take on more hours at work and become a Sunday painter.

It was frightening how fast my brain fired back.


“No. You are not giving up. You’re not allowed. You know that’s a bunch of crap. I bet lots of people love your art and would buy it, but you’re just not helping them say yes. Don’t you dare give up until you’ve tried everything and even after that you’d better try some more. The only time you’re allowed to give up is if you’re not breathing. So shut up, and get to work. You’re better than this.”

And with that, my get-up-and-go got up and came back. Even though my head is killing me and my stomach still doesn’t feel great and I’m pretty tired, I don’t care. I feel focused, I feel capable and I finally feel like I can do this again.

It’s nice to be back.