I saw one of those clever little graphic design exercises on Tumblr today. It was just a simple image that said:
I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing right now, but I’m pretty sure I’m not doing it.
That – in a nutshell – summarizes exactly how I have felt for the last forty years. It goes hand-in-hand with feeling slightly guilty. It also usually feels like I’m missing something and not getting it right… and that I’m not working hard enough.
I envy the people who get to bask in a sense of accomplishment. Usually I tend to be ass-deep into the next project by the time something finally comes to fruition. So instead of being pleased with what I’ve accomplished in the past, I feel inadequate about what I’m focused on now.
Stoopid, I know.
If you spoke to your friends the way you speak to your self, they’d beat the crap out of you.
Point well taken. There are so many people around me who make me compliments, show me love, and encourage me in my work. I’ve had to learn to accept compliments, and take pride in my work. Admittedly its gotten better as I have grown older, because there’s a wide path of creative destruction behind me, and I can see that I’ve done a number of things right. But that doesn’t make me feel any better or more successful, it just makes it easier to ignore the demons of doubt.
What really helps is having a decent sense of humor about the whole thing. If you take any of this too seriously it will suck the fun right out of life.
There’s also a good thing about all of this… it keeps me working. And trying. And pushing. I may not sleep much, but it sure keeps me up at night worrying about getting it right the next chance I have.
And I don’t mean any of this to sound like I’m filled with self-pity. I’ve accepted this about me, and have learned to use it to my advantage. And it gave me a chance to make a cool little poster of my own.