29 April 2007

three steps

i have read several things now about painting, photography, sketching, writing, and on just being creative. i've found a pattern in the advice, a 3-step process but not necessarily in that order:

  • learn your tools and how to use them.
  • practice, practice, practice. (or just do it.)
  • have a subject you are passionate about.
i am guessing these steps apply to doing anything creatively. this has given me the greatest sense of relief. because i don't even have to begin to wonder whether i will be any good at anything, i can start by learning and practicing, by doing.

i finished alex's whole journey, and found it very moving (until the last two years, when she stops seeming happy). i thought over and over, that's exactly the way i feel. i started reading her site a few years ago, but this time what i took from it was different. that she got where she wanted to be by simply believing, and bluffing (having boldness and self-worth instead of being scared, as do what i love says), and by working.

i learned that she didn't start out knowing even where to start, she was scared, she was alone. i read a long time ago that she left a "successful career as a corporate executive", but she was really just an executive secretary. would i have the guts to refer to my old job like that? i need to. what's the worse that could happen, someone say, oh you were a secretary? (actually, i think i also have a fear - a hatred - of anything that can conceivably sound pretentious, so much so that i'd even downgrade my actual title to secretary, but i'll deal with that later.)

i think i have also admitted a lot to myself over the past week. like i'm holding myself back from doing things i need to do to feel self-worthy. i know i have a lot more to think through and realize and learn from, but i think i'm off to a good start. i feel crabby, and tired, and scared, but also a little bit at peace.

i am trying to grasp that i can just be me. that's all. and that nothing will make me me except for me. nothing - money, a degree, more time - nothing but me being me. i think this is why i always felt like a fake, no matter what i was doing. i was always afraid, ashamed, embarrassed just to be me. silently, i've known this (look at my blog title: me without me) but i haven't been ready or able to change it until now.

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