Believing in myself.

by

Nude drawing, 14"x18" pencil on paper. © Sarah Marie Lacy, 2009

Nude drawing, 14"x18" pencil on paper. © Sarah Marie Lacy, 2009

So do you all remember my personal ad for a new job? Yesterday, I started a new one. And I love it. It’s pretty much perfect for me. It’s so perfect, I have to keep pinching myself.

The thing is though, I didn’t quit the smoothie job. I just reduced my hours. Don’t worry – I probably think I’m just as insane as you think I am right now.

I went into work yesterday to pick up some acidopholus for my still healing stomach and stayed to chat with my coworkers for a while. After the others had left for lunch, Ellen, the girl I’ve worked with the most, looked at me and said, “Why are you still working here?!

Uhh, good point Ellen. Good point. I don’t know.

I think I gave some bullshit response about not wanting to freak out the manager because we’re so understaffed, and keeping my discount for a while and actually getting some social interaction, but that’s all crap. When I work, I’m usually by myself.

And Ellen asked me, “Don’t you want more time for your art? Wouldn’t you have tons more time if you quit? You’d actually get to do what’s important to you and not this stupid job.”

Yep, those would be some more good points, Ellen. (This is why I love this girl.)

The truth of the matter is, I’m scared.

Scared shitless.

In August, I raged against getting a job. I was going to do it on my own, dammit! But the business side of my art had been through some rough times and the money had stopped coming in. I had to get a job, much to my own distaste.

Now, I’ve become dependent on the pay check. I’ve lost trust in my own ability to make money. I’m relying on someone else now. I hate it, but I’m scared to quit.

You could point out that I’ve got a new job now, a better job. Yet the fear in me rationalized that I could do both jobs and have even more money. Money is safety! I would have the extra money for paying off my credit card, buying more food, getting another sweater or two. Buying a new winter coat, new winter boots. It whispered to me that I could never survive on my art, that no one wanted it, that it would just be better if I kept both jobs and made my money that way.

Sure, it’s feasible. But that’s not really the point. I’m still giving away 20 hours of my time a week, when all I actually wanted was 10. And I got that. The Universe sent me the perfect solution. So why the heck am I still getting in my own way?

Lost trust

I stopped trusting my art and my ability to make money from my art. I often feel guilty for wanting my art to be (eventually) my sole income. I feel like I’m being unrealistic, that I should accept already that it just can’t. That I shouldn’t dream, that I shouldn’t want to biggify myself, that I should just understand that as an artist, you have to have a job. Or two. And that you should hate at least one of them. I get really stuck in this place.

But I am allowed to want my art to play a bigger part in my life. I am allowed to want it to make money so that I can keep doing it and survive comfortably. I don’t need to be rich, but I also want to reach a place where it’s not “Do I buy this sweater to stay warm or do I buy groceries?” I’d like a little more freedom than that.

So I’m going to start trusting myself again. I feel like I fell off my path for a while, got distracted, did some sheep-ing. I want to get back on that path, and follow my “north star” again as Martha Beck would put it. I want to develop trust in myself and my business.

Most of all, I want to believe in myself again.