So the other week I found out I didn’t get into the art show I applied for, and then a week later I sold a painting in my online shop.
My first one sold in my newish online shop. I was super ridiculously excited. I know it is not very professional to get excited by a sale, indicating how rare it is, but it is the truth for me right now. I was super freaking honoured and excited and ecstatically happy. As I wrapped the painting up tenderly and sent it on it’s way, to where I hope the receiver was not disappointed. (Because I have spun out to that place as well…so super professional around here!)
And this art thing seems to be all swings and roundabouts. So many ways in which to measure and judge ourselves. How many likes on our facebook pages, how to get more, how many likes on our pictures, how many comments do we get, how many blog comments, how many readers. We see other people all around us, especially in the online community seeming to have their shit together so much better than us. Seeming to be doing so well, so much more than we are. Sometimes it is hard to have all that in your head and keep going or want to keep going
How to get out there more, without it becoming an enormous act that doesn’t feel real or like you are acting in alignment with your own truths (as trite and cheesy as that sounds nowadays when it used so often). There are so many ways we can measure ourselves and how well we are doing. The universe is so generous in making those quantitative measures so easy to gather about ourselves. :)
I am trying to work out how to make it so that those things stay where they belong in my head. Acting as a benchmark for where I am now. Not telling a complete story, because what fact or figure ever does that? It is merely waiting for spin. For our overthinking minds to come along and tell us what that unsuspecting fact or figure really means.
Sometimes I do better than others, I don’t know if there is a single answer or strategy. Sometimes I just keep my head down, keep creating momentum and art, and trust that I am doing okay. Sometimes I get bitten by looking into the internet world around me, seeing how well everybody else is doing. Judging myself by those standards can kill my creative spark faster than my daughter can sniff out or inhale chocolate. I don’t feel I have anything worthy of sharing, or it is not original, or any manner of stories I tell myself. Sinking into that “what do I have to offer” place.
And the real truth is, that even those people that we think have their stuff together in the most amazing way, living the life of OUR dreams, have their own stuff to deal with. Much like our own. Nobody gets to fully escape from the swings and roundabouts of life.
The truth is that I only have me to offer. Me as I am right now, in any given moment. Who seems to spin from one edge of the spectrum to the other. Occasionally dancing up the middle caught up in the swift flow of the neverending list of creative things I want to do. The trick for me is remembering that. And just showing up. Always there are swings and roundabouts. Art show rejections and sales. Neither by themselves is the truth about where I am. If only sometimes I could remember that and put that internal critic in my head to bed!