Monday, April 15, 2013

Nightmares from a tortured soul: the artist within

artistans overcoming fear and doubt
Do you ever have re-occurring dreams? Or nightmares?
I do.

When I was a kid I used to have the same nightmare several times a year, one where someone was chasing me down the street to my house and I couldn't get the front door open (of course).

Then I hit a phase where I would dream I couldn't remember my locker combination from middle school. Much less violent, but stressful, nonetheless.

Then it morphed into dreaming it was time for college finals but I hadn't ever gone to class. Why had I NEVER gone to class?!!! All year long!?! Seriously??

Lately, it has become a repetitious nightmare about somewhere I used to work many years ago. But the twisted part is, I dream that I began working there again, but since starting 4 months prior, hadn't ever done any work. Every day I had arrived thinking, I really should do something, but since I didn't really know how to do it, I just never did a thing. Feeling horribly guilty and afraid that my boss would find out, I contemplated whether to just get started and try to catch up or let the door smack me in the pants on the way out. And for all that is holy, why did I NOT do any work for the entire 4 months I was there?!!!?! Aaaaahhh!!

Ugh. It's an exhausting dream / nightmare.
Had it again last night.

You know how dreams are your mind's way of trying to work through things? I'm guessing this re-occurring nightmare is my brain's way of working through a few of my "issues", thank you very much. We all have them, you know.

That's when this came to mind.

Tortured artist:
A tortured soul with too many ideas, too many big dreams, too many projects, too many thoughts to unscramble and organize, too much reassurance to find, too many doubts to overcome, too many fears to subside, too much possible rejection to avoid, too many what-if's to face and conquer.

I've decided I am a tortured artist.

When I stopped to really think about it, my re-occurring nightmare pointed directly at things I'm struggling with right now, and it's clearly time to take action.

In my quest to meet my goals for 2013, my brain often goes into whirling mode when I think of how to accomplish all that I have set out for this year.

To recap:
ONE  -Grow my Etsy Business
TWO - Bring more of Myself to my Blog
THREE - Get Organized
FOUR - Learn to play the Ukulele
FIVE - Take better care of myself

Here's how my tortured thought process goes, like a mouse through a maze...

Huh hem.
In order to grow my etsy business (#1) I need to think of new ideas, buy more materials, sew more products, sell more products, grow my brand, tweet, facebook, pin, make videos, and blog...which brings me to goal #2, bring more of myself to my blog, write more blog posts, write meaningful tutorials, write personal thoughtful posts, reach out to other readers, share projects on link parties...Screech! 

But if I'm blogging more, how will I have time to sew the things I need to sew and sell the things I need to sell and grow my brand and tweet, facebook, pin and stumble upon?! Maybe I just need to get more organized (#3)...but if I take the time to get organized, when will I have the time to blog, sew, sell, tweet, pin, share...Screech!

Maybe I need more energy, so focus on #5 to take better care of myself, so I should be eating a more plant-based, whole grain diet, so that means I need to plan ahead to have good foods so I don't just grab the bad stuff, so I need to look through healthy recipes, make menus, cook healthy food, grind my own flour...Screech!

But if I'm doing all of that, when do I have time to grow my etsy business, sew more products, sell more products, grow my brand, blog, pin, tweet, post, get organized, forget learning to play the ukulele (#4)...Screech!

and then I explode.

Yes, I have made progress on my goals, but it is clear that my psyche is in need of a tune-up!

I tend to hold back, thus not moving forward if I have too many what-if's, too many unknowns. I doubt myself and end up standing still instead of moving forward. If there is too much to be done, sometimes it stops me from doing anything, instead of taking it one step at a time. If I don't know how to do something, it can sometimes feel overwhelming and impossible to learn. Projects sit on shelves, ideas sit in notebooks, guilt builds, worries mount, and confidence fades. It's like being at a job for 4 months but never doing any work, feeling guilty for it, feeling overwhelmed and afraid you'll be found out. Aha! Mystery solved.

I am re-committing myself to action!
I will be open to the possibilitites.
I will make achievable goals.
I will move forward every day, even if only a few steps at a time.

Whew! Who knew all of that could come from a nightmare. Or dream. I guess it depends on the way you look at it.

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  1. I fully understand your torture! Your post is enlightening, comforting, and entertaining. Well done. I share your goals ( except number 4) and I share your confusion of how to do it all . I marvel at those with 6 children under 6 who can blog regularly, produce enough stock for a department store, feed and care for their brood, photograph their clean model homes that they furnished with thrift store finds that they painted and re-upholstered, and still have time to paint their nails, go to the gym, and have date nights with their husband.

    1. Hi Janlynn,
      Thanks for your comment! It makes me feel much better to know I'm not alone in all my agony! Best of luck to you and the other tortured souls like us. :)


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