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Slow down, cowboy
Bit of a rough start this year, huh?
I had big plans out the gate and I figured I had built the foundations throughout December, and so off I went with gusto. Only to fall flat on my face over the weekend.
I’ve been brewing on a longer depression cycle all of last year but I felt like I had maneuvered the pitfalls decently and I was feeling a bit of an upswing of positivity during December. Turns out I might have tried to do too much, too soon.
I spent all weekend being completely overwhelmed by anxiety, sadness, and surprisingly, frustration and anger (those are new for my depression cycles) and having about three meltdowns in as many days. And I’m still very much wrangling this negativity beast that rampages through my brain and body, but at least for now I’m somewhat able to put it in a pen to grumble while I try to get things done.
So, anyhow, those big plans.
I still have them, I’m just going to have to take things slower than I had originally scheduled.
I have still somehow managed to stay on track (mostly) with a few of my personal goals; I have, despite everything, practiced yoga every day the new year so far (I’m following Yoga With Adriene’s new 30-day Yoga journey, Center), I’m trying to work Mel Robbins’ High 5 Habit into my morning routine and I’ve been drawing something small almost every day.
The drawing thing is really hard for me because I struggle a lot with trying to find the enjoyment in the process rather than being super critical about whether or not the end product is “good enough”, whatever that means. I’m also having a hard time figuring out what I actually want to do with my art and what I enjoy drawing in general, just in terms of subject matter. I get torn between my old way of just starting something and then letting it evolve on it’s own and wanting to reach a specific outcome where I feel incredibly frustrated if it doesn’t end up where I want it to be.
So, I'm hoping that just drawing something random every day can help me loosen up a bit and not focus too hard on the outcome. I also want to transition into doing a bit more figure/gesture drawing, just to get the basics into place again.
Now, for the rest of my plans that haven’t gone quite as well…
For one, I’m trying to go back to school to study programming so I can be qualified to do something a bit more free than a regular 9-5 and with (hopefully) a bit more stability than trying to build a freelance art career (I learned the hard way that I should keep my art mainly personal). However, trying to figure out how my Swedish grades translate into the Norwegian system and if I can use working experience to make up for the lack of certain grades have been tricky to say the least. Navigating the school system as an adult is a jungle, let me tell you.
Secondly, I’ve been trying to finish up the few commissions that have been lagging behind from last year and while I’m down to just one as of writing, I’m feeling incredibly guilty about it and ironically that sets me back even further. Fingers crossed I can avoid more meltdowns and get it done this week. 🤞
And lastly, I was aiming to start streaming regularly. I even had a grand plan to reveal a streaming schedule in this letter. Alas.
I actually bought a lightweight tripod and the OBS Droidcam app as a Christmas gift for myself to be able to stream traditional drawing and miniature painting but I never got further than connecting everything before anxiety wedged itself in there and told me I couldn’t stream this or that because it wasn’t good enough/I wasn’t skilled enough.
This is a thing that happens way too often with me. I get excited, buy equipment and then freeze and never get around to using it.
The paradox of wanting to and enjoying sharing something that I do but also being super scared of how people might react, even though I logically know that the chance of negative reactions of any magnitude is minimal. Anxiety isn’t logical though, and it can be very persuasive.
Having said all this, I’m hoping that now that I’ve shared all of this with you, maybe I can keep myself accountable on the draw everything bit just because I will feel obligated to share my progress and that by having “spoken it into being” I can slowly start getting back into streaming and just openly share my process, despite my brain telling me it’s subpar.
Deep breaths, open up and just exist. Slowly, carefully and with kindness.
I’m going to have to keep reminding myself of this, but change takes time and work.
If you’ve been making plans or setting intentions for the new year I’d love to hear about it! And if you too need an accountability buddy, just holler and we can cheer each other on. 💪💜
Now I gotta go make some art so I have something to update with on Sunday!