I was hanging out with a dear friend the other night and we were discussing the directions that life sometimes takes us in. It’s easy to get comfortable with your circumstances, and easier to get stuck in the safety of how things are and not take risks. Risks are scary. What if I fail? What if I close one door and find myself in a room without an exit? What if I jump and just free fall into nothing? I’m scared of rejection, I’m scared of failing. I’m scared of giving up things that I’ve grown comfortable with, with just a blind hope that once I pass on this something else will come along. It’s a trust thing…
I have this clawfoot tub in my apartment. It’s quite honestly my favorite place to be. I’ve been spending a lot of time in this bathtub lately, because I find I can just tune things out in there and just think, already. Quiet the voice in my head and just figure stuff out. This is what I was doing last night. I put earplugs in, and turned on the faucet so it was just almost unbearably hot. Then I turned out all the lights. It’s a strange experience—sensory deprivation. My eyes try to adjust to the blackness, and I can hear nothing but the sound of my own heartbeat and breathing. It’s both comforting and suffocating at the same time, but it helps me to really focus. I have a hard time doing that sometimes. I’m always flitting off in 10 directions, thinking about all the things I need to be doing, everything except what is happening right now.
I got to thinking about all the decisions I’ve made in my life. All the times I’ve succeeded, how far I’ve come. How many times I’ve failed, got my heart broken, been incredibly disappointed or devastated—and yet, learned. Grew from the experiences, as terrible as they may have felt at the time. And a switch flipped in my mind. Why am I being so protective of my ideas? Of myself? It’s like never eating off the good plates—those are for special occasions. And yet, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow having eaten off shitty dishes for the last 4 years, what a waste. I feel like I have so many creative projects in my head, and an exact idea of where I want to be with my life and career. I’ve been taking teeny steps hoping that they would lead to something. But teeny steps (although better than none) don’t make for big changes. This being scared thing isn’t getting me where I want to be, and I think it’s time to break the pattern.
(from my friend Georgina, not sure who the original quote was from):
I’ve decided to apply for a Literary Arts Work Study Program at the Banff Centre. It’s a 6 month program. I realize that although I have built my life here, in this apartment, in this city – I need to take drastic measures to move forward. So perhaps applying to jobs out of the city (in Victoria) or out of province would force me to change EVERY aspect of myself at one time. Frightening? Hell yeah. Exhilarating? Definitely. I want to work in publishing. I want to design children’s books. I want to live on the island in an fantastic character apartment downtown with an amazing bathtub and a short walk to the ocean. I want to take photos more than ever and build a website for them, I want to take the Bittersweets to the next level and market myself as a craft illustrator. I have this view in my head of who I want to be, and it’s starting to come into focus. I’m not exactly sure of when this will all happen, but if I keep it in my mind it will… eventually.
“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” -Anais Nin