You might be wondering how I got here. Blogging, making art, and doing internet... stuff. Whatever you want to call this.
Honestly, I quit my job. (Simple math, really. Me minus old career equals crazy.)
Don't get me wrong. I loved my job. I cried a lot when I left. Actually I still cry sometimes when I am in the shower so no one can see my tears... (I bet you thought that was a joke.) So why quit if I loved it so much? Honestly something in me wondered if I would wake up 20 years from now and wonder What if I had tried something more creative. What if I had followed my heart. I wasn't going to let what if steal my future, so I quit. And cried. And wondered if I did the right thing a million times. And didn't sleep for a month. And worried. And worried. And got sick from worrying and died in a hole the end.
It can't end like that, can it? Fine, I'll tell you what happened next.
I'm a major perfectionist. I am the perfectionist who is so concerned with being perfect that I tend to freeze and do nothing. I think about a lot of ideas. I plan them meticulously in my head, but I never start anything because I'm so damn scared of failure. So I was busy being a perfectionist and worrying about my terrible decision to quit my job, until I finally had to admit that I was losing my mind. I came across this quote that says:
I loved this quote SO MUCH. This quote is my currently life situation described accurately. The point is that you can't make anything if you're worried it might come out wrong. Eventually you have to start making stuff and quit worrying. I loved this quote so much that I painted a quick doodle and turned it into an iPhone background so I can look at it every day. And you can download it too-- just click on the magical buttons below.
This quote reminds me of something that happened when I was growing up. My dad used to be an art teacher. I remember the day he taught me how to throw clay on a pottery wheel. I had finally managed to create my very first form. It was bowl-ish shaped and tallish and I was so proud. I showed my dad, who promptly came over and smashed it.
Now you might be thinking, Wait WHAT? What kind of sicko is your dad? But he's not a sicko and he's not a jerk (*mostly) so just hang on a second. He said, "That's awesome! Now do another one!" And he was really excited. Because my dad knows something, people. He's told me these words over and over again throughout the many failures of my childhood:
Wow, so much inspiration. Before you get the idea that my dad really is a jerk after all, let's talk about what he was saying. Don't fall in love with your first idea, because your first idea is rarely your best idea. Think about it. Have you ever listened to Taylor Swift's first album? Well... Her voice is whiny and twangy. She was just a kid. It's cute and it has some sappy love songs on it, but if we're being honest I can see how she got a lot of haters in the early days. She was just learning. But each album got progressively better and better. People, DID YOU HEAR HER 1989 ALBUM? Of course you did. It's on every radio station 50 times a day because that album is the bomb.com. I mean it. What if she had stopped after Teardrops on my Guitar and told herself, "I've done enough. Don't want to screw up a good thing." We never would have had the magical sparkling bliss that is Taylor Swift in Blank Space (don't tell me you didn't love that song before the radio overplayed it) or Style or Wildest Dreams.
Teaching was just my first idea. It was wonderful and challenging and it changed me forever. Who knows, maybe I'll be a teacher again someday. But first I'm going to try some other ideas. Maybe they will be catastrophic failures of epic proportions, but at least they will be epic. Or maybe after a whole bunch of mess-ups and broken failures I will arrive at my very own 1989 album. Here's to taking the big leap.