I’m up! Didn’t get a sleep in the way I was hoping to this morning, I’m very short of sleep lately. But I got a rest! Pain levels are bad, but my mood is great – and if I got a choice, that’s usually the way around I’d choose to have it. 😉 Life has been busy lately. I feel like I’m skating on ice, it’s all going a bit fast and too much, but I haven’t crashed into any trees or fallen through any holes so yay for me. I’m on track with my college work, good business plans are in place, I’m getting some housework done, I have cupboards full of food because Rose got paid finally and bought a car full of food to say thankyou for all the support through unemployment, and I had a great conversation last night that’s kicked off a really good mood.
Business stuff is undergoing big changes. I’ve done my last gig this weekend where I travel a long distance, for no hourly rate, for a fundraiser. Rose is working full time now, and I’ve dramatically noticed the loss of this caring and diligent person who encourages me, lets me soundboard ideas, drives me when I’m too tired to make it back from a gig, cleans brushes, and all the other thousand ways she’s supported my work. I’m now supporting her work, trying to help come up with good routines for meals and exercise and downtime. This week we prepared lunches on Sunday and took wonderful salad-in-a-jar, fruit, and homemade brownies to work. 🙂 Mmmm! I’m also still healing up from a bad bout of tendinitis in my right wrist, which has meant having to turn down a lot of work over the past few weeks. I have learned how to make beautiful dreads but can’t do too many in a week without trashing my wrist. I can’t take art gigs that involve lots of hours plus long drives alone. I have some great plans and ideas about the beautiful studio, although we’ve all had to do a lot of creative thinking about the studio as there’s been a bunch of problems and plain bad luck that have made things very difficult.
The long and short of it all is that I’m basically needing to relaunch my business with new products and services and a new format. And I’m finding it hard! I’m so tired and not getting time off, I’m all worn down and lacking in the spark you need to start something new. I was talking to Rose about it all last night, how blocked and stuck I’ve been feeling. I haven’t had a spare moment to write in a week, which is really sad. Every single time I go along to college I realise afresh just how hard it is for me to work as an artist. I have such huge blocks in my head about what art is and what it means to be an artist. I’ve grown up with a lot of rubbish, unhelpful ideas that have limited me. Some of them – like it’s wrong or bad to be queer, I’ve been able to make a lot of progress on getting rid of. Some of them are just super stubborn and I feel like I’m constantly bashing my head against them! Art is one of these. Rose’s amazing support has made what I’ve done so far possible… with her extremely busy and navigating the stresses of transitioning from shift work over night to a a regular 9-5 job, there’s just me and my head. It feels like being tied up and thrown overboard and told to swim. I’m trying really hard, but it’s not working! Last night I talked about how insecure I feel, how inferior my art seems, how exhausting it is trying not to be overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and self hate. It’s so hard to keep putting myself out there and finding that place of confidence where my self esteem isn’t tied to my work and where I can connect with the a customer and what they are feeling and need instead of being overwhelmed by the storm going on inside of me.
Oddly enough, just being able to name the block, to talk about how ashamed and afraid I feel, how small and insignificant, how presumptuous, grandiose, inelegant, and ignorant I feel, has made a huge difference. Oh, there’s days when I’m not like this, parts who don’t feel this way. But wow, there are a lot of days where neurosis and exhaustion dominate. I had this idea that with the great support I’ve had and some experience under my belt it wouldn’t be like this anymore. I’d have graduated from insecure fledgling to Flying Eagle, confident, secure, capable. Hah. That hasn’t happened. And trying to be Flying Eagle when I don’t feel that way at all, and hating myself because I’m not, is making things 4,000% worse. Ah well, it helps to name it! Apparently I am currently more destined for the role of Neurotic Eagle. Never mind, it’s not as if neurotic artists are a dying breed. It’s a pretty big club. So, I’ve regrouped. I’m going to talk about my fears and get the support I need to keep flying. I’m going to accept that I’m not, or at least, not everyday, Flying Eagle, and that that’s okay. Great art gets made by the Neurotic Eagles of this world too.
I’m reminded of that most wonderful pair of books, The Neurotic’s Notebook and sequal, by Mignon McLaughlin. “The neurotic feels as though trapped in a gas-filled room where at any moment someone, probably himself, will strike a match.”
Have a good one, everyone x