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"In art.. failure is part of the progress... "

Reader beware... this is a long one. It's probably more geared toward the folks that suffer a bit of Imposter Syndrome  (is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud"....wikipedia) than those looking for a quick read. 

It's midnight and all I can do is wonder what my next step in life is. That's normal right? This seems to be my nightly routine these days. At 37 years old, I am just now exploring where my heart is leading me after all these years of knowing where it yearns to belong. Instead, I had been making conscious decisions to not even entertain the idea of connecting mind and feelings for absolute fear of failure and unrelenting standards. I have been listening to audio books (about creative ruts and advances) at night trying to help me gauge just how serious I am about taking this massive leap of faith and I keep asking myself "why now???" I've always known deep down that I have an affinity for art and for becoming a creative myself. I have always wished I was a painter, sculptor, or even a dancer. In highschool, my senior year (I went to 4 highschools) - we had some incredibly talented and gifted artists. I'd make my way down to art class, walking passed the gymnasium (that I LOATHED) and seeing the creations lined up against the wall... paintings, clay models, paper mache.. I would literally day dream that I could produce something so grand and that I would someday live in a home surrounded by such amazing talents and creations. I actually imagined I would be recognized for talents I didn't even have. Then reality would hit. My reality. I wasn't an artist.. No one saw me as an artist so how dare I dream of being one. Instead I would go to class and make minimal effort to get a passing grade. No one noticed. As a child I was never seen as a creative person. It was not me that blew people's minds with how well I could draw or how descriptively beautiful my stories could be (instead I scared the world with my horror stories.. realizing now I was being creative it was just never accpeted that way). It wasn't me that could get on stage and belt out a solo in front of a huge audience. I didn't play an instrument so the whole street could hear on a hot summer day. I had nothing to offer the world. Nothing. I hated sports... I wasn't an artist. I was shy... I was boring to look at... I did terrible with book studies. I could dance a mean Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. That was really about it. My family is full of artistic talents. My brother is an absolutely amazing illustrator. It will be something I always remember about him. My mom.. she can do ANYTHING. Literally anything, my admiration for her ability to create will never be lost.... my cousins .. two painters.. Gorgeous work. And yet, here I am. Dying inside to create but never quite feeling worthy. Eventually listening to songs and identifying with both the lyrics and the music is where I chose to bury myself. If I couldn't be an artist at the very least I would continue to admire those that were. The other day I posted an image to my social media branches and received so much incredible love for it. Yet here I am talking myself out of deserving any and all recognition. I took the image at a workshop with an amazing photographer leading. I keep telling myself "you're a fake" (full blown imposter syndrome here). But then I have to remind myself.... I took that image and I edited it. No one else did. "Sure you were with a lovely group of photographers all learning some tips and tricks of the trade but you took that image and you edited it." Alas that pep talk lasts for all of 5 minutes and I am back to my self deprecating ways. I am in a creative rut at the moment. One I don't feel like I have a right to speak of since well, am I a creative? What makes someone an artist.. what makes them a "creative?" Who qualifies that for me? The audio I am listening to now is "The Creatives Curse" by Todd Brison and at one point he says "Part of the creative's curse is dealing with the insecurities that came from your youth" BOOM There it is. I never felt worthy. Embarrassed to express where my interests were out of fear of rejection. Who knows why. Perhaps my artistic outlets weren't widely accpeted or maybe I just wasn't clear that I wanted to be seen as a creative. Maybe this insecurity lived within me for no reason my whole childhood and it has festered into my adult years. 

What do I do with that? Recognize it, accept it, and move on. I pretty much already knew it but to hear someone else acknowledge insecurities from your childhood can still be running in your way as an adult. 

I don't know if any of these books will be profound enough to make me take one giant step ... on my own moon.... but I do know I am pretty proud of myself for trying to squash those inner voices that I am just not good enough and continuing to explore what I actually do have to offer the world. I'm also pretty freaking excited that in a month I will be taking photos of one of my old artistic highschool buddies', that I so admired; puppies. The Circle of Life is pretty grand isn't it?

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Ellory Grace Photography
Newburyport MA
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