Oh the irony is delicious…. I was just blogging away about how I had proudly made it through January, and was staring down February with great hubris, when life hit me like a mudslide in monsoon season, obliterating most of the delicate balancing act I had made since the beginning of the year. Then, wordpress decided that when I click “Save Draft” that meant to erase it. As if I weren’t having a hard enough time trying to get back on top of things, technology has to spit in my face.
Anyway, here I am, trudging my way out of the February doldrums… asking that you forgive me for neglecting my blog so. I haven’t bailed on this project, or my goals, just got a little stuck in the mud. I ended January on such a high note, finishing this and this in the same week, then starting another big project right at the beginning of February. I was on a roll creatively, but quickly losing balance. All of a sudden, I had project deadlines staring me down, with a calendar filling by the day with family engagements, appointments, volunteer days, birthday parties, baby showers, and romantic holidays. My neatly stacked piles of clutter began to threaten to avalanche and bury me; the dishes decided to take up permanent residence in and around the sink; I could hear the dust bunnies conspiring from unswept corners… I began to feel overwhelmed, and I have this terrible habit of shutting down when I’m stressed, which, you would think I have learned by now, is counter-productive. For a few days I hit a bit of a funk, and experienced what I can only describe as the artist’s version of writer’s block. Nothing was coming out right, things weren’t coming together right, and I was not feeling confident, moving forward slowly and hesitantly, second guessing myself at every turn. And, in all honesty, there was more than one day wherein I was greatly remiss to putting any thought or effort toward my art. I have managed to turn out one more large finished piece (which I can’t reveal until next Monday, but I’ll give you a sneak peek) and one small side project, so the month hasn’t been entirely fruitless.
I still made myself work in my sketch book a bit, but I was abysmally uninspired, so I was just messing around with flourishes and whimsical little designs. Better than nothing (barely), but they are proving to come in handy with things I have lined up for this week and next.
The last few weeks made me pensive and melancholy, as we tortured artists are wont to be. I began to think a lot about the expectations I set for myself, and the frustration I feel when I fall short of my own mark. It is unreasonable for me to expect to be able to deftly navigate all the curveballs that are thrown when one loves her husband, children, friends, job, hobbies, and freedom as passionately as I do. There are never enough hours in the day, especially on the days when even 10 hours of sleep doesn’t feel like enough. (Sleep is another one of those things I do with much gusto, fortunately, so is coffee drinking). It’s funny how old habits come creeping in, specters of past defeat. As strange as this may sound to you (as a non-native of my addled brain) but it was an actual, conscious realization for me to become cognizant of the fact that just because I stumbled and let myself become bogged down, that this is not a failure. I can continue on, pushing myself to success. Like I said before, this project has much larger implications than I originally thought, and larger still are the hopes and dreams that I have of what will come out of this all. This is not a page in my life to tear out and toss aside like so many failed sketches. As of right now, this is a small smudge on a large canvas, one that will soon be smoothly covered, or better yet, worked beautifully into the finished piece.
Keep checking back, keep the comments coming, feel free to share this small piece of me with your friends. Just don’t give up on me, because I’m not.