The last few days Austin’s been getting some much-needed rain. And although I’m grateful to see our plants looking so happy and to know our lakes are finally getting filled up, these gray skies have me feeling gloomy.
Or perhaps the weather isn’t to blame. On Saturday I started painting the fronts of my little paintings. Doing the actual painting was wonderful. I wasn’t really thinking too much, just paying attention to the colors and noticing what happened when I tried different things with my tools. Time flew by. I guess you could say I was in the zone.
But afterward, that’s when the trouble started. My trust in my own intuition evaporated, and instead I was freaking out at my total lack of a plan. My critical thinking self started to hurl questions: Am I going to sell these things? Are they good enough to sell? Why would I think I could be an artist? I’m not even trained! This isn’t even my final goal, so why am I doing it? And so on.
But then throughout the weekend I received one message after another directly targeting my fears. Isn’t it funny how that happens sometimes? How you end up reading or hearing just the message that you need to hear? These are the times when accident and coincidence to do not seem to fully explain the experience of living.
So I wanted to share a few of these things I’ve been reading, in case they might be helpful to you, too. First, a blog I read regularly, called The Improvised Life, wrote this post about the value of uncertainty and how scary it is to start something new. (I love the photo.)
Then, my friend Sonya wrote this post about how difficult it can be to start charging money for a product. She points out that for women in particular, there can be an emotional hurdle to get over. Yet another issue we can blame on our cultural conditioning, I suppose.
And then, another blogger I read regularly wrote about starting her photography business, and how it has been more like an evolution than flipping a switch. She mentioned the quote from Ira Glass, too, about how you have to practice to become good at anything, but it’s so easy to forget this and get discouraged by your own suckiness. I think about this quote often, and whenever I do, I relax. But for some reason I have a hard time keeping it in mind. Maybe I should tape it to the window in front of me so I’ll never forget it!
Anyway, this whole doing-what-you’re-drawn-to-but-are-scared-of thing is no easy path. But I chose it, and I choose it again every day with gratitude.
I know this, and I believe all these great wise lessons above. But somehow the fear is still there, stuck above me like so many gray clouds. What to do? Nothing, I suppose. Nothing but pack my umbrella and keep going.
© Amy Daniewicz