How many of you actually ended up doing whatever it was that your four year old self said they were going to be? I’d love to think that there are lots of you, but there’s a good chance there isn’t. There’s this strange thing called money that you eventually start to learn about as you grow older and suddenly it no longer becomes a manner of “I LOVE doing this… I’m going to do this my whole life” and more so of “M’eh it pays the bills and I get some days off here and there” Ok, that might sound a littttttle melodramatic, but hear me out. This is a question that is forever brought up, even as adults people seem to forever joke about who we are now that we’re grown up – would the four year old you approve of where and who you are? No, you’re probably right, what you wanted to be when you were a child probably doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things…except in a way it kinda does. If a kid is asked what they want to be when they grow up they likely think of something they really love to do, or be. Granted, a lot of the time its a princess, or a dinosaur.. there are still the standard super hero, cop, or fireman. Kids tend not to base what they want to be on how much money they’re going to make or how comfortable they’re going to live. What matters is its something they love to do and as pop culture and #motivationalquotes and #yolo will tell you, its important to do what you love because life is far too short not to. How happy would this world be if people didn’t call what they did for a living work – that it was just, well… living? I’ve always loved those stats about how much of our lives are spent “at work” for example, in an average 40 hour work week for about 40 years is 90,360 hours… that’s a pretty ridiculous amount of time doing the same thing every day simply to get by with a roof over your heads, food in your tummy and clothes on your back. I often wonder what it would be like to live in a time where everyone worked together so in the end the time spent working was just time spent living. More simply – a world that didn’t revolve around money and power. Buuuut this isn’t a political blog post though, so I’ll try and reel it back in to the point… Doing something you love makes you happy to do it, when that happens its no longer looked at as work. Ok, so… art? Right, I’ve always said I was going to be an artist.. but I also said that I was going to be a teacher. I love working with people and I love seeing that ah hah moment on their faces when they finally get something or figure out a problem. More importantly, I love helping people discover their creative side, its an incredible outlet for people, and as a high school kid who hung out in the art room to get away from the real world I know how important those outlets can be to have. Art was always my go to, however when college rolled around the Vulcan half of my brain told me that it was probably more likely that I wouldn’t make it as a paid artist, at least not right away and that I should probably try and find a career that will pay the bills. My teenage self kicks me for looking at being an artist as an impossible thing but I’ve always needed some kind of back up plan incase it didn’t work out. Back to that whole planning thing. 😉
I think of some of the things kids say they want to be and wish that whatever it is that makes adults so bitter and focused on the wrong things never happened. Sure, the ones who wanted to become a dinosaur or a bird would be disappointed to find out it wasn’t really possible… but I think there’d at least be a few less people who hated what they did for a living if they listened to their passion. Its all in the mindset, I’ve read a few books on the law of attraction and I think there’s some truth to the you get what you put out idea. How can you live your life happily when you get up in the morning telling yourself you don’t want to go to work, you hate work, you wish you could quit, you feel sick.. You’ve all heard the saying, fake it ’til you make it? If you want something bad enough you need to put in the work for it. This means you need to set yourself up to succeed, by following up with yourself, pushing forward, and not letting things like how long its taken you to get somewhere get in the way of progress. With any goals in life, all that matters is that you’re making progress, the results will come eventually. If you can maintain a positive mind set and continue to push yourself and your work, theres no saying how far you’ll go. You also have to believe in yourself, that’s where the faking it comes in I think. You have to FEEL like you’ve already made it, be confident in your work and abilities, put yourself out there like you know your worth.. weird, isn’t that what they tell all the single folk about meeting the “right” partner too? Because that’s the mindset you want to be in to get the most out of life…Happy 🙂
For me the hardest part about making an honest effort at something – like becoming a working artist – is pushing through the days where you just want to throw in the towel and quit. Life gets in the way, you start feeling like you’re not doing enough, you doubt your skills and before you know it you’re sucked back in to the cycle of never quite making it work. If you’ve been there, or are there now all I can suggest is to keep your eye on the end goal – know that so long as you’re moving forward and not backward you’re going in the right direction. I may not be able to get to the studio to work as much as I’d like to right now but I’m busy working on my brand as well, I’ve been sketching and writing and coming up with ideas that at least keeps my momentum going. I don’t always feel like I’m even in the same league as some of the other artists – but as I said in my last post – there is always going to be someone who is better than you at something, the ONLY comparison you should be making is between who you are now and who you were when you started… its tough not to go “oh, her work is SO much more unique and she clearly knows how to draw” .. but that isn’t going to do anything but break you down even more. Chalk it up as motivation to improve your own skills and move forward!!
Note: I’m really saying this as a note to myself since I’ve been feeling a little blue lately but its also a note for anyone else who’s having a hard go.
The one nice thing about feeling blue – you can always try another color! There are plenty to choose from. Deep breath – and try again.