I’m not sure I know of anyone who has lived a creative life without having gone through the fire of conventional doubt. Really what is life without the tests that make us prove ourselves and fight for what is really worth it?
Sometimes though, the tests come too many, too fast and when you are in no place to take it in and instead take it on and unfortunately become a part of the pain.
I have had many struggles in my lifetime from chronic undisguised illness, depression, and abandonment to straight up assholeitis – the suffering from multiple interactions of many assholes at one time…if we’re being professional. All this well trying to legitimize the one thing that made any of it okay: my creative.
My creative: an interactive storyboard, where I would act out my stories before writing them down, mixing my love of ballet, dance, acting and, yes, kickass fight scenes in a constructive form of improv storytelling that ended up becoming a method through which I was able to release the stress of everyday living well escaping it at the same time.
This method of mine wasn’t understood by many and even worse wasn’t accepted. Most didn’t want to know, but they would use it against me, to ridicule and debase me.
I was a weirdo and let my freak-flag fly. I was proud, stubborn and defiant. I didn’t mind that I was an unconventional creative, in fact I reveled in it. I had found my thing at an exceptionally young age and nothing was going to stop me.
Ah the ideals of youth.
Something did stop me, all of those things that I mentioned above, yeah I could only run from them for so long, only lose myself in my world for so long before it too began to feel the harsh sting of corruption.
I began to take it out on myself. I began to let it poison who I was and came to believe that that was it. Before I knew it conventions struggle and existing on the fringes became too difficult a challenge, I couldn’t keep up so I stopped.
Fast forward to now and I still struggle with the shame I feel on the other side of zombiedom. Shame that for so long kept me in the shadows, kept me from reclaiming my right to live the life I wanted to and how. Fear took over and doubt crept in, and once that seedy little cretin gets under your skin it becomes an infestation of vast proportions.
I was paralyzed by the results of my parallelization!
How often do things work out this way? We struggle, we succumb, we make a mistake and in the after math lose ourselves to the shame of what we perceive as failure. We get stuck in the vicious cycle of self criticism. When it comes to failing to protect something we love it can be even worse.
I let my baby, my world, my characters and self down. I allowed myself to give up after so long a fight. Why couldn’t I fight a little longer? Why couldn’t I just…why didn’t I etc and so forth. It is a never ending world of what if and why.
Answers I have come to find come when we stop struggling against what is. Why do we torture ourselves with the regret? Human nature I suppose, but in the end what defines our growth or lack there of and how much time it takes for us to come back into ourselves.
I had been so strong, so resilient, doing so much, accomplishing so much, stopping made all that stop too. Made me the opposite of what identified myself as being, took my power away from me. Now there was no release, there was no escape. And there wouldn’t be until I could let go of the shame in comparing the two.
Present self was battling against past self preventing any future self from forming. Why? Again the shame. The shame of having to start again. The shame of having to admit and accept that I wasn’t who I had left behind, had “betrayed”.
Having to reenter something that was so akin to my being, so apart of my self, it would be like relearning how to breath! Why should I have to restart something that I created, that defined me and that I defined? Why should I have to begin, why can I not just jump back in?
Maybe these things are still natural. Maybe they still do come easy, maybe it will fall back into the flow of how it used to be if not become something way better from the other side of having learned something from going through all of this. What needs to be addressed is the fact that the reason nothing is coming “easy” is because you are not going easy on yourself.
You are not acknowledging the fact that you are coming back into this with burden, something that wasn’t there when it was good. You are coming back into it seeing yourself, regarding yourself as something damaged. You are seeing the time for what you lost. Seeing the blank page as all you haven’t done and not with the excitement of what will come next because you are still too concerned with the comparison.
I’m not telling you to give yourself an excuse. I asking you to give yourself a chance. A chance to continue, to keep going by letting yourself go.
Let go of your past and let yourself go in the present so you can go, charging into the future you deserve!
It may not be comfortable, these emotions suck. It sucks to have to “try” at something you used to just live, but we have to push ourselves through these uncomfortable feelings to earn back the flow.
It is in you. It is of you. If it was once, then it is now, but don’t expect it to just come naturally when what stopped you in the first place was more likely then not something unnatural. Convention in and of itself is unnatural. When we fall to its pressure, fall to our haters, let ourselves get caught up in the bullshit it is unnatural, point blank.
We take it on, we lie to ourselves, we beat ourselves up into believing we can’t do, and maybe don’t deserve any better, and then when we try with these weighs at the forefront of our minds and convictions we inevitably lose the perceived battle.
We need to go back into rediscovering our “groove” with acceptance. Acceptance to the feelings that will be there, the challenge – not battle – that will be there. That it may take time, that it may be a kerfuffle of ideas to page and difficulty of action to movement to ability to accomplishment but with the belief that it will get better.
We didn’t start out knowing, we learned as we went. It may be upsetting to feel that you have to relearn, but maybe that too is just another test of perception and it’s really more about earning the freedom of expression again.
If it’s something that came easy that now comes hard maybe that’s because you are lacking the faith in yourself and ability, so why should they come so easily? They sense this, inside your truest, purest essence senses the doubt, so earn its trust back by doing without the shame, without the fear or hesitation.
Just go and trust that in the end you’ll be in the middle and happy that you began again.