I have realized that although I don’t lack talent, I do lack certain other things that are crucial to success. This has just recently come to my attention and it smacks a little bit of self-sabotage. Surprise! Surprise! I am not alone in this. My brother is right there with me. It appears that we have very similar hang-ups regarding our creative talents and honestly we both feel it would be easy to blame our parents but that really isn’t going to solve the issue. It is an odd thing to have been a gifted child and then grow up to do absolutely nothing of any merit with your talent. Truthfully, after awhile, you start to doubt that you are good enough to do anything as an adult…and so you don’t. You talk yourself out of things. You busy yourself with things, distractions, even supporting other talented people. The odd times when you do exhibit your talents and people gush about how wonderfully gifted you are…you oddly feel guilt or shame and nervously blow it off and busy yourself with something else. This has been the cycle for years and recently my brother broke that cycle. I am proud of him and he has inspired me to do the same.
Here is the problem (and I touched upon it in Syncopated Stress). It is a matter of WORTH! My brother and I have both stalled out over the years because we have felt unworthy and have somehow equated those feelings of unworth as meaning we have no talent…that anyone can do what we do…so…why would anyone pay for our work or gift (and so we repeatedly give it away). We have also mutually struggled with guilt when we have had a bit of success because sadly we had bought into the notion that there isn’t enough to go around. Ah the lies you tell yourself. It’s pathetic but I have a feeling that we are not the only ones to do this.
I know on what and where I waste my valuable time and I have decided to stop. People and organizations have been notified that I am no longer available. I have also temporarily unplugged from most of my social media, ditched the games and Netflix. Absolutely NO MORE animals will find their way into my care. One dog and six cats are all I can manage and luckily for me, I trained them and they know the routine. I am setting smaller, easily attainable goals: to bolster my confidence and keep me from feeling overwhelmed and defeated by larger ones…because, lets face it…life never goes as planned and I am already feeling fragile so why grease those wheels for failure. All this is the easy part.
The not so easy part of the equation is: I know where these hang ups came from and what I don’t understand is why I am still carrying them around with me. Why am I still listening to my father’s, “this will never make you money so I hope you have a back up plan:” or his “you aren’t as talented as you think you are/ there is always going to be someone better than you; perhaps you should set your sights on something more productive and meaningful.” My mother is also rattling around in my head with her passive-agressive, back handed compliments.
She is the reason I give my work away…she started that trend when I was a child (she did the same to my brother too); when someone would offer me payment for my artwork she was always quick with a smile and a “Please! I won’t allow it. She doesn’t need to be paid, it’s a simple hobby. Her enjoyment at creating such things is payment enough.” My enjoyment, however, never kept me in art supplies. I also realized that they never followed their own advice….so, why should I? That is the problem. I have to stop listening to those parental voices, I have to break those old, rigid, “set in stone,” patterns of behavior and the power they have over me.
So, I have adequate free time in which to create…now….to work on that sense of worth…
Photo: On the Way to Santa Fe. Taken By Pamela with Nikon 5300 DSLR