Some days look like, “OMG, is this really my life?” Some days look more like, “Holy f***ing sh*t, I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday. Yesterday felt like I’d survived the entire week already!”
Some days aren’t pretty, but even the ugliest of those days add up to make something beautiful.
We are all working together, co-creating this existence of ours. Each moment is another choice, another chance to choose beauty.
When I’m embodying my slightly more enlightened self and the hard days start to stack up, I gently remind myself that we’re all just trying to make something beautiful together. I ask myself, “What’s your part, right now, in this project we call life? What can you do to add to the beauty?”
After last week, I find I’m asking myself these questions.
Last week was a week of ugly days—one right after the next. Things are shifting as my baby boy grows and his nursing needs change, signaling a cascade of hormones that leaves everyone around me walking on eggshells. To say the least, I’ve been sour. I’m not writing, I’m not “art-ing” and I’ve shot very few frames this week.
I’m sharing all of this with you because…
I know what it feels like to read blogs written by creatives, all the while the song of creation whispering in my soul. My creative spirit, a hatchling, a tiny baby bird that longs to soar. I know what it feels like to sit on the other side of that screen, consuming lovely, whimsical, inspiring blogs, one right after another—wishing, longing, if only I could make beautiful things.
They make it look so damned easy.
They’ve got creativity in their genes, a patient spirit, a nanny, a maid and likely a trust fund. Right?
I would sit and think, “I don’t have the time, the talent, the knowledge, the supplies… the whatever.”
The “whatever” comes.
It’s all there, waiting to be discovered by each and every spirit on this wild ride we call “being human.” We all find the time for what’s really important to us; talent isn’t so much an innate state of being as it is a willingness to both practice, and fail; knowledge accumulates over time, as do supplies.
Start where you are. With what you have.
This goes for art—and life.
I don’t want to set an impossible standard for this whole working creative thing. I don’t want to only share the rainbows and sunshine and beautiful pieces. I’ll gladly share my ugliest art. (Not my terrible photographs though, sorry. Nope, won’t do that. Not evolved enough yet.) I’ll share my struggles, the places I fumble, and I’ll share them as readily as I share the good stuff.
It’s not all good stuff. The heart of creativity is more bravery than it is talent.
Life and love and art—the stuff that lights up my universe and draws out my light shine—that stuff, that stuff takes guts. Guts and persistence.
I have two rules I “art” by:
1) I show up to do the work, and
2) I no longer allow self-doubt space in my studio.
Creating by these rules has been revolutionary for me. Showing up to do the work is risking failure. I have made bad art; I will make bad art again, for sure. Showing up is an act of bravery. (I’ve made peace with all the possible outcomes when I pick up the pen/brush/camera.)
And if I’m going to be brave enough to show up, I’m not going to tolerate any mouthing from my inner critic. I haven’t the time; I’ve got work to do.
I expect to find beauty in all of the imperfections. I’ve built an artistic style out of the ability to recognize the beauty at any given moment and capture it, hold it up and say, “See? See this here? Everything is okay. Everything is beautiful, really.”
I want my life and my art to be a comfort in the chaos and uncertainty. I don’t want to be another voice on the internet that makes this whole “life” thing look easy. I don’t want to be someone else to compare yourself to, a comparison that leaves your life and your art falling short. The truth is we’re all falling short. After all, we’re people, not Pinterest boards. We’re looking at the best of everyone’s best on blog after blog and telling ourselves we’re not “Artists” with a capital “A.”
Profession, Craft, Passion—all proper nouns.
I’m convinced that feeling like we’re not quite good enough is just part of the price we pay for being human and having the ability to think about our thoughts. The ability to see the process from the outside, that seemingly cruel cosmic joke of self-awareness.
So here I am, reminding you, and myself, that every single moment of every day is good enough. That I am good enough, you are good enough, that enough is just showing up each day to try to do this thing again.
I know that I am doing my best with what I have. That just has to be good enough.
It has to be good enough for you and it has to be good enough for me.
Now, we can all just agree to show up each new day and do our best, and that together we will make something wonderful of this life, indeed.
What song does your soul sing? What thought forms cause you to quiet your voice? What thought forms empower you to sing loudly? What can you do today to step boldly in the direction of creativity?
Author: Fury Gray
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Author’s Own