I am ok now, and I will be ok in the future. I feel good today, after a couple weeks of self doubt and being unmotivated. Now I know that these negative feelings will come, and then they will go. They are like waves on the beach. I just need to watch them roll in, acknowledge them, and watch them roll out. In the past I used to make life decisions based on my sadness in the moment, my anxiety in the moment, my anger in the moment. If I had a bad day at work, I would start looking for another job. If I felt fat, I would stop eating and work out all day. If I felt like no one cared about me, I would stay in bed and write in my journal all day.
Bad emotions don’t last forever, and neither do good ones. When I feel good, like I do right now, I want to always feel good. I start asking myself, what I can do to always feel this way? But ‘always’ and ’emotions’ are two words that do not go together, and will never go together. Over the past few weeks I was in a funk. If you read my blog last weekend I wrote about how I had nothing to say and that I felt that no one cared anyway. I can’t explain why I felt that way last week, and why this week I feel good. The difference is that this week I feel the love of my family and friends, and I feel motivated and confident. The people around me haven’t changed how much they love me, only my perception has changed. I haven’t changed and become a different person in a week so that I am confident, but my perception of my capabilities have changed.
Last week instead of taking action on my low self esteem and insecurities, I took a step back. I made a conscious effort to observe rather than act out. I didn’t used to recognize when I was in a funk, so I used to think that my negative bad feelings were telling me important information that I needed to act on. And those feeling are telling me something very important, but now I know that it just wasn’t what I thought it was. Of course my family and friends still love me, of course I have something to say, of course I am a worthwhile person on this earth. I can’t tell you why my mind flips and sometimes doesn’t see this. Now during these times, I may eat a little more sweets, or skip a workout but I don’t make any life decisions based on these feelings. I know better now.
And I am back. I rode out the storm, and I feel good. I had a very productive week, I went to an Instagram Integration event where the average age was about 30, but I felt ok this time. I didn’t feel too old because I am over 50, or out of touch. And I made some new friends and got some new ideas. I also reconnected with a girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in a long time. We first met at a networking event at the end of 2017. At that time, I had about 20 followers on Instagram, and I hadn’t started my blog yet. It was good for me to talk to her about how far I have come. It made me realize that I don’t take the time to acknowledge my accomplishments. I am constantly chasing the thing that is just beyond me, and it starts to feel like an endless race.
This week I started to realize that maybe that is what my downturn in my mood is all about. I am not acknowledging my own efforts and my accomplishments, so my inner child gets needy and acts out. I am not being a good person to myself. I am like the parent where nothing is good enough, no matter what the child does. I just keep pushing and pointing out where they went wrong, and what they could do better. The child can’t keep moving forward successfully with this pressure, so the child acts out. My inner child becomes grumpy and negative and has the attitude that nothing they do is good enough, so why try? My my inner child gets tired, burnt out, needs some love, so she throws a temper tantrum until I acknowledge her. I realized this week that my negative moods are not about my family and friends not loving me, they are about me not loving myself.
A year and a half ago I hadn’t written one single word, drawn a single illustration, or painted a painting in over 15 years. Now I have a weekly blog, I sell my illustrations, and I am going to sell my paintings. Also, I am planning on doing an art show this summer in Portland. No one but me created this. I did the work and created something where there had been nothing. Actually there wasn’t nothing, there was angst, unhappiness and self destruction.
It is easier to see these accomplishments in other people, but hard to see them in myself. My mind will go to thoughts of ‘why didn’t I start this sooner?’, ‘why can’t I work faster?’ , ‘why can’t I be better?’. My mind will get wrapped up in questions that can never really be answered. I will never have the answer to why I didn’t start pursuing my creativity sooner. Never!
I am trying to teach myself to just let the questions be there in my mind without searching for an answer, or beating myself up about it. Or maybe just saying, ‘good question’, I just don’t know the answer. Also, I am working on replacing these questions that tend to make me feel bad, with ones that move me forward. Instead of asking ‘Why didn’t I start my creative journey sooner in life?’, I ask ‘What am I going to do ‘today’ on my creative journey?’ My answer is, today I am going to write this blog, paint, have dinner with my husband, talk to my daughter who is away at college, do laundry, play with my cat, catch up on Instagram and take a bubble bath.
Today I am going to take another step forward in my creative journey, acknowledge how far I have come, and acknowledge my family and friends that have encouraged me every step of the way. Today, I am ok!