I'm not a big fan of looking at life through rose-colored lenses. I like to think I'm more of a realist. I strive to see things the way they are, as opposed to the way I want them to be. At the same time, I lean toward optimism. I believe that I can create the outcome I envision and cause things to go in the direction I desire. I don't think this will all just magically occur because I wish it. I know there is hard work involved - that I have to do more than just sit back and dream a lovely dream. I know there can be detours along the way, not to mention outright obstructions, but I feel I will win through to the end if I just keep my eye on the goal and persevere. When something bad happens I try to learn from the experience, so I can avoid it in the future and incorporate it into my journey in a way that propels me forward. Sounds reasonable, huh? A winning formula for success! Not quite rosy, but perhaps a touch of mauve...
So, in the interest of keeping things real and providing a clear and unobstructed view, it's time to reveal my flip-side. There are days where I just want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my head. A storm moves in, bringing thunderclouds of dark negativity and it begins to rain, rain, rain on my little parade. Sometimes (I like to think most of the time, but I'm not an impartial observer) I grab my metaphorical galoshes and umbrella and slog my way through, shouting out mental words of encouragement; "This too shall pass! "Focus! Focus!" "Just get to work - what's next on the list?" "Don't give into that @#%^&*!" "Can't make a healthy omelet without paying a premium price for cage-free eggs and separating the whites!" (Ok - I made up that last one just for fun :0)
But, there are times when I just give in to the dark side. I don't know why exactly. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep the night before. Maybe it just suddenly seems easier. Or, maybe life is just a big computer game and I used up all of my Magical Optimism fighting the Demonic Demons of Darkness and now have to die a virtual death and be re-born before I get any more. (I like that idea! Can I get a new avatar with a younger body?)
Whatever the reason, suddenly it's a full-blown Pity Party just for me! The room is dark, but nobody's there to turn on the light and shout "surprise". Oh look, there are banners! So uninspiring! "There's too much out there - you'll never get noticed!" "Nobody even knows you're there!" "The Universe is conspiring against you!" "None of this matters anyway!" "What's the point of even trying?"
There are games to play, but they're a bit depressing. Act Like You Don't Care About Anything; that one's almost too easy - a child could play it. Nothing Can Make You Smile; always a crowd-displeaser. You don't even have to dress up! In fact, it's best just to stay in your pajamas. No need to take a shower or comb your hair either - why bother? It's the perfect costume for the "Nothing Really Matters"party theme!
(Ahem.) Is it too late to pretend I didn't just write that? Cuz, I'm thinking maybe those rose-colored glasses aren't so heinous, after all. (Sigh.) There was a reason I wanted to write this - now what was it?
Oh yeah! I wanted to share my journey with you, but it's not a true picture if I don't let you in on the hard times involved. If I just pretend everything is rosy it's of no use to anyone. The hard truth is that my decision to quit my day job and try to make a go of it as an artist and writer is hard on my family finances and it does cause me stress. Sometimes I deal with it just fine, and sometimes I don't.When I don't there are a few things that I have found helpful;
1. Do NOTHING. Ride it out. I literally (or figuratively, depending on where I am) send myself to my room! Just like a real storm, eventually the clouds dissipate or roll on and I venture out again.
2. Avoid snapping at anyone! Say nothing destructive. Fewer awkward apologies later!
3. I snuggle with my dogs and tell them my troubles. They are very good at listening, keep their comments to themselves, and possess a magical quality that dispels darkness faster than anything else I've tried!
4. I don't beat myself up afterwards for feeling the way I did.
5. When it's over, I create something. ANYTHING!
Well, that's all about that! Sorry about those rose-colored glasses. I think I just heard the crunch of glass under my heel...
And here's a new work of art just for fun and to say thanks for listening!
And here is my therapist, Honeybear. She's licensed.