It’s Enough. Or Is It?

I was reading an article (The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women) about Imposter Syndrome and remembering again that it totally applies to me.

No matter how much I do, I feel like it’s not enough. I’ve done six performances in the past two or so months, more than I did last year. I’ve been meeting tons of artists, and just a bunch of cool peeps in general. But yet, I sit there thinking, “I haven’t done enough. I’m bored. There’s not enough going on.”

It’s been a little over two months since my life completely changed and I became a person on my own again. Freedom comes at a price–in this case, it’s the price of ten years of hard work and dedication to one person.

It sucks, making choices. No one can ever give you a road map that circles right and wrong and points in the exact direction you need to go.

But what does this mean for art? I was talking to a friend who is going through the exact same thing and we were talking about how in the beginning of the transition from married to single it’s excitement and shock and stress and who knows what. Then that settles down. She said, “It’s back to boring life. No more excitement. But you have your music, that’s your life line. I have my book. That’s mine.”

It’s true, music, and especially writing, continue to be my lifeline. But I can’t quantify them. I don’t measure myself on the societal scale everyone else seems to measure themselves on, i.e., if I have x amount of readings/performances, that means that I’m that amount closer to y. Who knows what I’m closer to or farther from. Who knows what will take place in the next couple of years.

I spent my twenties in the life of a more grown up person. Married, settled, pretty stable, going from one job to the next. I feel like I just came out of a tunnel into…my twenties again, take two, but now I’m 31. Only I look like I’m twenty-something, so that’s a plus, I guess.

I always pictured more…something in my life. More travel, more shows, more musicians, more excitement. But don’t we all? Is this all something we’ve grown to expect through media? Probably. Our brains have been blitzed out by the tube from childhood on. We overlook subtle every day beauty and life, as some random guy was telling me outside a coffee shop this morning, once we turn into teenagers. But you look at a child and they’re like, “Ooo, butterfly!”

***

I was napping today to the tune of someone hammering on the roof, children laughing and a BBQ outside. My room is in the middle of this cluster of Victorians that meet in their backyards. Naps are good. This nap was one of those ones where everything runs through your head, like a shuffle of the week’s events being put into file boxes in your brain.

I thought about how this week I talked with two different people about awesome music I’d never heard of before, and about the way we write our own music. I went to the lake with a new girlfriend, watched a meteorite shower, had crappy diner food with people two nights in a row, performed an hour set at a bar in front of a bunch of people I don’t know, finished my tattoo, worked on a new song, spoke at a meeting about being sober, got some poetry and a non-fiction story accepted to an online magazine I’m the contributing editor for, fixed my road bike and rode it everywhere I could, even around Lake Merritt with a girl friend, walked with another girl friend partially around the lake…on top of my normal library shifts, etc. I even went to Lip Service West to hear my friend Josh read, and saw a bunch of writer friends and heard some awesome stories.

And here I was, feeling sorry for myself because I felt lonely and bored and like I didn’t do enough.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7ytwnWess0&version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0]

***

It is so hard to practice positivity instead of negativity for me, but somehow I keep swinging back to positivity, even if I spend two weeks mired in the gloom. Who the hell knows what will happen for me in the next couple months or years. Nothing has been easy, but sometimes, like I said before, it’s the hardest times that are the best times. And the hardest times shake us up so we have to change.

I wanted freedom, I got it. Be careful what you wish for. I should change the No Regrets tattoo on my wrist to No Expectations. Because I still have a lot of regrets, but I’m learning to let go of expectations for how my life will pan out and what/who will be there on the stage with me.

0 comments

  1. Angie West says:

    I was actually about to make some coffee and head out to the patio to see if I can find a meteor or two (I heard someone say tonight is going to be really active), I did a fast check of my email and read this post. I wanted to comment on what you said at the end of your post, about the hardest times being the best times. Six years ago I thought things were tough-I couldnt wait for the day when I could do more, see more, experience more. I was always waiting for ‘that day’, you know? Anyway, I’m glad I took a lot of pictures of that time in my life because I look back on them, and I know I was stressed a lot-but I dont feel it anymore, when I think about what my life was back then.

    And then, in my life at least, things are a whole lot worse now than six or seven years ago. So those times really look good.

    As for always wanting more-I personally think this is a direct byproduct of Hollywood 🙂 They make everything look good. Everyone is thin and everything is pretty and exciting and fresh. I constantly have to take a step back and remind myself to enjoy now. Sometimes when I find myself going into overdrive I’ll do something like go hang clothes over my fence to dry. Crazy maybe but its good for a laugh and puts things in perspective for me. I met one of my best friends that way-my underpants blew into her yard after my dryer broke down. I’ll admit it-I am not a classy lady. And thats okay.

  2. I think if I were to have text tattoo’d on me, It would be no promises. I don’t even expect to fulfill my daily chore plans, most times.

    I still find the time to giggle about butterflies. I get looked at like I’m crazy, but that’s okay, I want to move to Siberia, as soon as I can figure out internet connection.

    I’m a little sad that I don’t really see many butterflies in the middle of a city.

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