I don't remember where I read it. It was either a meme shared on Instagram, or a tweet. It was about the false assumption that success equals "forever." I needed that. I should have saved it but I was deep in my scroll. There's no slowing down.
I've been having imaginary arguments for years. The latest versions are my ideas of mentors and those I look up to taking painful, spiteful jabs at me for my stop-starts in the arts. I'm combining my fears with memories of people I respect to attack myself in new and effective ways. What a shame, they tell me. I'm finally giving up. I never applied myself enough. I'm being chastised for my wasted opportunities, my wasted potential.
I sat down and wrote about it. I thought about how success does not mean doing one thing forever. I did some things, I made some other things, and I went a few places. I did pretty well. I developed some ideas about how much better I could be doing, based on what I saw around me. I stuck to some rigid ideas of progress and success that may have been detrimental to my growth in both. These are hard habits to put down. It's difficult to imagine success in a new and different way when the next leg of the journey is unclear and so new. It's easy for a very superficial, fear based part of my mind to take over and bully my vulnerable side with threats. My fear assumes convincing masks of disappointed people and will tell me I'm giving up.
I'm not giving up. I'm elevating what I love to something more than a career goal. I'm freeing it up to be my calling. If then it's necessary to invest in other areas to support my calling, so be it. I'm allowing personal change and growth to meet a new set of demands.
It would be nice to arrive here sooner, the place where I'm more clearheaded about uncomfortable decisions. I'd love to not imagine loved ones chastising me into doubt before reminding myself all the right reasons to move forward. I'm hopeful that I'll get to a better place with this.