I have been off work for the last week and it has been glorious. I checked my email occasionally to make sure there weren't any grenades in there and thankfully, it's been a tame week. I have avoided taking holiday weeks off in the past because I rarely have big plans and with lots of people out of the office, it can be a great time to get caught up without being bothered. After this week, I think that with all those people out of the office, there's a much shorter "rebound" time when I return, which might just be better than getting "caught up". In most instances, that getting caught up has more to do with wasting time in other people's offices, snacking on treats being brought in, counting the hours until you can go home. So, why not just stay the hell home? And, with the holiday, I'm not coughing up a full 40 hours of paid time off. This week, I'm only going to have to give up 16 hours. While I didn't get even HALF of the stuff that I wanted to get done while I was off, I did get time to rest, put up my Christmas tree (that I'm still unhappy with), hugged some family, drank amazing Scotch, saw an amazing movie, and bought a few gifts.
I should be finishing up the last few chores as the daylight wanes, but after being away from work for a blissful 9 days, and thinking about what the rest of the year holds, I felt the need to put some thoughts out into the world.
I have things to offer that I'm not sharing because of reasons that I don't fully understand. I'm scared, but I'm not sure of what. Rejection, maybe, but if I really look at who I want to be, that shouldn't scare me at all. I don't fear rejection from other people because I know that I'm not everyone's cup of tea and I'm pretty comfortable with that. So, why if I don't fear rejection of my personality or who I am, should I fear the rejection of the things I create? I create things because I feel the need to put them out into the world, not so that people will like me more or pay me to create.
I mean, that would be nice and all, but that's not really art. That's creating a product. Or, is art actually a product, just not what we think of art in traditional terms? I guess that doesn't matter as long as I'm creating.
Is it laziness? Am I avoiding creating because I'd rather watch television or eat or smoke cigarettes or bake?
While that's what's happening, I don't think it's because I'd rather do other things because when I'm writing is one of the few times that I don't feel like I should be doing anything else.
I know that I will love my life even more if I create more art, but there's something stopping me from being consistent and I simply cannot see what that is.
While I am comfortable not being everyone's cup of tea, I am completely UNcomfortable with being misunderstood. When I feel like I'm being misunderstood, it makes me incredibly frustrated. I feel trapped in my own brain and unable to connect with people. I don't mind clarifying my thoughts when asked specific questions, but getting a blank face or darting eyes or worse, no response whatsoever, makes me feel lonely.
I see two problems with this related to my art...
1 - If I feel like I will be misunderstood, I will overexplain. And, in the words of my favorite writing instructor (although I think he borrowed them from Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones), "don't complain and don't explain". You put your whole heart out there as a way to share your life experience and connect with other people, but you don't tell them how to feel about it. That's not art, it's a lecture.
2 - I cannot control how people perceive my art. I can embrace those who are receptive, but I cannot force everyone to love it. There's that lovable control freak! *eye roll*
This tells me that I need to let go of my need to be explicitly understood at all times, but I'm not sure how to even start that process. I know that reminding myself that my thoughts are fleeting and anxiety is just a fear of what could be is a good thing to do, but it doesn't feel productive.
Perhaps this little brain dump is exactly the step outside of my own brain that needs to be taken.
Will I come back again soon? Gosh, I hope so.