Friday, February 24, 2012

Should I stay or should I go...

Not really.  :)  Just an old Clash song that popped into my head that relates to my current train of thought.

I wanted to talk a little today about fear.  There was a question asked on lampworketc, the lampworkers forum I frequent, along these lines....

what are you more afraid of, success or failure?

Now I know that for some people that's probably a no brainer, of course you'd be more afraid of failure, right?  What's worse than wanting and trying and then failing?

Oddly, that scares me the least.  Life has knocked me around a good bit over the years and I've always had the habit of getting up, dusting off, and throwing myself back into the fray.  I have a sort of "Oh, I don't THINK so!" mentality.  Nothin' gonna keep me down, yada yada yada.

But success?  Success scares me, quite frankly.  I've run away from it before in my creative life.  I did oil portraiture and wildlife renderings in pastel to pay bills in college and later had a fairly good run with Bryce, Poser, and 3D graphics.  Always though, when the opportunity to expand and actually become has arisen I fold like a deck of cards.  Pull neck into tortoise shell and delete presence from current creative affiliations.  I make myself unavailable until whatever interested parties there are lose interest.

Why is that?

Emotional safety is the primary motivator as far as I can see.

This is a question I have to answer now because once again I've managed to claw myself up to a place that has potential and I can feel the fear knotting up my brain.  There is part of me that stagnates almost to the point of paralysis because if I succeed then I open myself up to critique or worse, to the possibility that others like my work which is hard for me to accept.

It's not fight or flight, there's not even a question.  At some point my brain screams run and I comply without a backward glance.

So now I am on a final journey to overcome the feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism that have held me back all of my creative life.  I love to create, I do.  I spent several years when my children where young simply helping them craft and denying myself any outlets and honestly, I never want to return to that.  While it was wonderful that I was there for my children 24/7, I walked around feeling like I had this huge dead space inside.  I wouldn't recommend it.  If you have kids find time for yourself to do what you love.  It serves no one to try to stifle your creativity.  We are driven to do what we do or we would not do it.  Taking it away is like trying to live on emotional half-rations.  Trust me, I know.

So as part of the recovery process I thought that blogging about how I have felt in the past and what I face currently will force me to re-examine feelings that, when they arise, need to be dismissed and invalidated.

Meanwhile, I have been a busy little bee.......