Monday, April 5, 2010

Rediscovering an Artful Past

When life gets ya down I've found that it's important to remember that it might not be life's fault. Sometimes the stress, fatigue, worry, and general 'ick' feeling is all in your head. Heck, you might be the number one cause of your own life's downiness. So perk that chin up put on your comfy travel shoes, cause we're going back in time.

I'm finding that one of the best ways to rediscover happiness is to travel (in your mind of course) back to a time when you remember a greater level of contentment. What were you doing? Wearing? Eating? Who were you hanging out with? What kind of music were you listening to? It all seems too simple you say? You'd be suprised how much people struggle with simplicity in the 21st century. In fact, in my own exprience lately, the more I try to simplify, the more I've been causing a greater degree of chaos and confusion.

Example? When trying to simply mail in a credit card payment (the old fashioned way), I ended up with a considerable amount of money getting lost in the mail and countless added trips to several different bank locations in order to solve the mystery (well...trips have been made, but the mystery is still not solved). It seems that my own desire for simplicity led to my own temporary financial demise.

This, however, is only a small and very specific example of a larger direction my life has been taking over the past few years. When I started school, I didn't know how my career was going to work out, but I knew that I wanted to be an artist. It was what I did. It was what I was good at. But wanting to be an artist, a seemingly simple idea for me, caused a great deal of confusion and chaos from my family. How was I going to make any money? How would I establish any security for my future? In this case, my family thought their concerns were quite simple too, as well as practical.

So in the interest of clearing up their doubts about my ability to survive on my own, I began to devise what I thought to be more simple goals. Practical goals. I switched my major from theater to communications. I directed my career goals from the stage to mass media. Then eventually my hobbies began to change. I went from painting and sewing to watching the news. I went from going to movies and shows to cooking meals at home. I thought I was being practicle and simple, but the truth is that it was just causing me more grief. The greif came from not being able to let go of either set of aspirations. Now I always find myself trying to follow both paths, have it all, do everything; and it is starting to break me.

But the moment I picked up a paint brush and starting painting for the first time in about four years there was instant joy. It was as if content was spewing from the brush's tip. I was ecstatic, like one of my fingers had miraculously returned from a several-year absence. Then a few weeks later I attended an audition for the first time in nearly two years. Though I don't think that I performed my best, I was instantly reunited with that old sense of pre-performance nervousness that brings me ultimate rejuvination.

Slowly, I'm starting to feel like my old singing, painting, crazy-clothes wearing self again. It is comforting to know, that the version of me that I used to love is not totally gone, but has only supressed for a short while. I am no longer worried about my future. I figure, if my family is so adamate about worrying, then they can carry that responsibility for me. I need to do what makes me happy, or I'll never be able to handle all the other stresses that "life" throws at me.

So please, my friends, love ones, and even strangers that might happen upon this blog, as best you true to yourselves. Don't lose sight of what makes you you. Even when it hurts to be misunderstood, I have found that trying to change who you are (even when done subconciously) is not a better alternative. This message has probably been repeated twenty or thirty million times by now, but perhaps that's because the goal of being true to yourself is so easy to lose sight of. So write it down this time...on a sticky note or something. Much Love ;-)

And here's a couple quotes to keep in mind:

"Gnothi Seauton"


"Sometimes the hardest thing to be in this world is just yourself,"

-Brother Ali

"Do you want to play a lead role in your own life? Or a supporting role in someone else's life?"

-Hillary Clinton

"Let go of what you think this is"

-Anne Bogart