I should be clear. Getting to this point where I feel comfortable even admitting to myself that I am an artist and what I want is to do is make a living with art, took 33 years. Well, I suppose it was there long ago, but gradually got squashed. In fact it was just the other day that I finally said the words, “I want to be an illustrator,” to myself when considering what kind of work I should look for in the next year. It had been a foggy, amorphous idea floating around for so long. I didn’t want to utter it aloud for fear of the disappointment of it’s sure impossibility. In Jackie Battenfield’s, The Artist’s Guide, How to make a living doing what you love, I read a quote from Morgan O’Hara:
Listen to what you are telling yourself. Accept who you are.
There are so many reasons to ignore ourselves and reject who we are. But it’s painful, a little bit, every day. We get attached to ideas of how much money we need to make, how we don’t have the right experience, how our personality should be, how much easier it could be if we just felt differently. We can decide to find happiness in our circumstances and choices, through acceptance. And we can also accept that we are happiest under certain conditions- then make choices to put ourselves there more often. Acceptance doesn’t mean happily sitting on a busy sidewalk watching everyone else go about their business. I’m aiming for active acceptance.
What am I talking about? I’m probably going to quit this too.
No, I’m not.