Something about social media that I don’t like is that it makes me feel that other artists work so much faster than me. That they never have a bad sketch. That their sketchbook isn’t filled with crappy work and things crossed out and page after page of pencil disasters. I KNOW that the internet is lying, that social media is lying, that everything we see on someone’s profile is highly curated, only showing their very very best. I know this, but it still wears me down. And I know, I KNOW, that creating a mess, experimentation, and making “ugly” art is all part of the process - 90% of what is you put down on paper (or canvas or macaroni or whatever your preferred medium is) will not turn out how you envision it. And that each doodle leads to the next, and each mark makes the next mark better (or at least influences it). There will be good days and there will be bad days. I know all this. But it’s not easy to always remember it, and certainly not easy to BELIEVE that idea inside you.
That sounds so much like what the teachers say in yoga. That’s one of the many many reasons why I go. “It’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect.” I am trying to apply that same idea to other (or every) aspect of my life. There’s something so freeing about submitting to the idea/fact that we don’t know it all. Of being a student. Students aren’t expected to have all the answers. They DON’T know. That’s why they’re there! Can I be a student in every aspect of my life? In my career? In my marriage? In my community? Yes, because I already am. Humans continuously grow and evolve, and once you turn 18 or 21 or 30 or 53 or whenever you decide you’re supposed to be “grown-up” how on earth can you expect to never change again? I hated brussel sprouts as a kid, but now I love them. My husband hated brussel sprouts until age 39, now HE loves them. What a beautiful thing, to grow and evolve and learn and stretch and change…forever. How lucky we are!
I’m trying to be kinder to myself, and for me right now, that means less self-critical talk and more going-easy-on myself, among other actions . Part of that is avoiding social media and the internet when it gets to be too much, when it makes me feel bad about myself when I compare myself to the perfect curated lives I see on the internet. This is a bit rambly and incoherent, but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately - both in therapy and outside - and I’ve only just started journaling my thoughts and experiences with it all. Welcome to page 1.
Self, give me a break. Please. Go easy on me, I’m only human.