To me, proper fun requires four things: being with other people; being present and engaged; being open - to newness, challenge, failure, or looking dumb; and large amounts of laughter. I’m fortunate to have a partner and a group of friends who don’t shy away from playful activities. I’m also lucky to be living in a time when play is becoming more and more accessible to adults. Gone are the days when we had to settle for bowling, mini-golf or billiards - leaving the actual fun stuff to the kids. Now we have more options than ever.
I realized that while I accomplished a lot more than I had expected in the past 12 months, the overarching theme for the year was constriction -- a feeling of being caught in a prison of my own making. I weighed myself down heavily with unnecessary obligations, adding more and more tasks to an unstable pile. While this definitely helped me take my art business further than it’s ever been before, it also left me with a sour taste in my mouth. This - burned out, worried, stressed, exhausted - is NOT how I want to feel.
A year ago today, I published a blog post where I declared that I would give up my day job at the end of January 2018 and go full-time as an artist. It was both completely unreasonable and absolutely necessary. It filled me with energy and made me so anxious I felt sick. Today, less than three months from my self-imposed deadline, I’m looking back on how that decision has impacted my life and business and whether I’m on track to reach my goal or not.
The best we can do-the only thing we can do-is to be happy with art, with a creative practice, and with a life, that is good enough.This doesn't mean we shouldn't strive or reach. It doesn't mean we shouldn't push our boundaries, make bold moves, or shoot for the stars. It means that amidst the striving and reaching and pushing, we also need to find a way to accept things as they are right now.