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Message from Myself from 2014

I mentioned in a previous post that I had a vivid and adamant dream where I was told (without words but with mind-images) to fix a certain spot in my studio nook.

Tonight I fixed it, which necessitated fixing a whole lot of other things including carrying a heavy table from upstairs to downstairs. As I cleared all the things to make way for the new arrangements, I found a piece of paper on the floor right where the “spot” is. It was a torn page from an old journal from 2014. I wrote it as a note to myself at that time.

What was up in 2014? I had just moved back to live with my parents because I could no longer afford to pay for two households. I gave up my condo unit and my single independent lifestyle to save on resources and allow me to try to see where being an artist could take me.

It was a rather steep decline in terms of lifestyle adjustments. But I was willing to make the changes because it has been clear to me that I want to be an artist. But my worry then as it is now is how to go about it, how to survive and thrive. I had my mountains of doubt. I had my concerns about what people would think. I was afraid of disappointing and losing the confidence of people whose opinions and approvals I valued then. I could not yet see the other possible paths. All I could see was the well-worn path I’ve walked for many years. I did not know when and how to trust myself on living any other way.

Here is what the piece of paper said:

Know your values. Don’t compromise. Always be clear. Have everything in writing especially on matters involving money. It will save a lot of heartache (and pocket-ache) later on. Love something about what you do. If there’s really nothing you can love, find something else to do. Know what you’re really good at. Know your skills. Know your strengths. This is what you rely on and what you go back to so you don’t fall apart. Know your core. Know your limitations. Know how much you can risk without losing what you’ve taken years to build.

Most of this hit at the core of my current anxieties now. But I realise that the last sentence no longer holds true. Because if my values have totally changed or evolved, then what has been built over the years may no longer be as relevant and may need to change as well. I must not be imprisoned by old defaults and the old ways of doing things.

It has been said not to fix what isn’t broken. But even a whole unbroken square will still not fit in a round hole. Sometimes one has to rebuild from scratch, from square one. Sometimes the restart has to be as far back as zero all over again. Know your limitations and see how you can get past them. That is the way to the true life you want to live.

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