Why you should never give up on yourself
or how I climbed out of a dark hole
You might be asking yourself why I wrote such a personal post. The reason is that I want to let you inside of my struggle. Maybe by sharing this I can help someone else that’s in a similar situation as I was in and let them know that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
For a while there I was in a dark place, it’s only in moving forward and looking back that I realized how far I had fallen. I had done okay, but then I let my fears and doubts get to me. I was stuck in an endless loop in my head: what should I do? What can I do? What should I do? etc. I looked everywhere else for answers. I listened to everyone else’s advice, the only voice I feel I didn’t listen to was my own. Each day I did less and less, I was anxious and depressed.
In my depressed state, I couldn’t see a path forward. I felt as though I had to make a choice between Art and selling my jewelry. I asked for advice from a lot of people and eventually chose jewelry. I then proceeded to put a ton of pressure on myself to sell. Only I just asked for advice on how to sell and hardly took any action.
You might be asking yourself what’s changed? What has made me better now than before? A lot of tiny things. I finally hit rock bottom when I was sitting on the bus after having eaten two Big Macs at McDonald’s and I realized that nothing was going to change unless I did something different. I remembered the saying, “If you are in a hole, stop digging”. I had just turned 30 and was taking it very hard. At 30, I’m no longer a child, and I realized that I need to take control of my life because no one else will do that for me.
The next day I went Paleo. I’m not going to lie and say that it was just going Paleo that made the difference. I’ve also started:
- Biking outside
- A daily meditation practice
- Journaling more frequently
- Listening to podcasts
- Making art again
- Seeing a therapist
- Seeing a life coach (shout out to Sunni)
- Taking medications more regularly
- Doing the 5-Minute Journal (most days)
- Going out and interacting with other people
All of that combined is leading to me having a more positive outlook and moving me forward. Yeah, it is not easy, but I keep reminding myself that easy is boring. The less I did, the less I wanted to do. The inverse is true as well, the more actions I take, the more actions that I want to take.
I’m focusing less on other people’s advice and more on my own inner voice, at least, I try to. I’ve gone a long way in these last five weeks, but I also realize that it all could go away in a split second if I stop doing the work, which means everything I talked about above.
Not that everything is perfect now anyway, I am still running out of money, my MacBook air is still broken, I don’t know how I’ll be able to get to WDS this summer and I still don’t know what type of job I want. All that and more is still there, I just can handle it now, the anxiety isn’t so overwhelming that I’m paralyzed anymore. There is still so much stuff that I want to do as well, like volunteer, sell my jewelry, make my art and connect more with other people. I also want to start blogging again and start an email newsletter.
I’ve learned that the choice between being an artist and an entrepreneur is a false choice, at least for me. Being one doesn’t exclude the other. I need to do things and move my life forward. I feel better and more alive while making art, and at the same time, taking action on my jewelry business feels good. I sold my jewelry at Milwaukee day at Turner Hall Ballroom, and preparing for that show has helped me to clarify what action steps I should take next. Having definite goals feels good. Working toward something bigger than myself feels good. Anyway, I just need to keep moving forward.
Thank you for reading this absurdly long post, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to do so. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Should I continue to write blog posts like this? What would you like to hear more from me about? Thanks again.