(Today's lettering for my 365 day hand lettering project, 2013 year of lettering, and motivation to figure out what it is that we are after)
I hate to admit any fault or flaw, which is also in itself a major flaw, but I realize that I'm not the only silent sufferer. I also realize that some of the things that I have disregarded as accomplishments because they don't stack up to what someone else seems to have achieved are things that I would have been thrilled about and probably envious of a few years ago when I was just getting started in the real world (I'd like the fake world again, please, circa 1993).
I might be wrong in thinking that exposing my flaws means I can diminish or banish them, but it's no use for other people to squirm in self defeat when there are those of us also squirming that have the power to tell you that you are looking at it all wrong.
I also could go 90 directions at once right now so apologies for bouncing around like I'm apt to.
I'm obsessed with ideas. If you ever make the mistake of telling me you are thinking of starting a business or that you are having trouble coming up with a plan of some sort, I am likely to engage you in a brainstorming session full of possible venture names or a million things you should try even if I know nothing about your industry. I am full of big ideas and I seem like a schemer, in the most jolly sense, to my best of friends.
These ideas often lead to wanting to experience and wanting to have already experienced all of the possibilities out there. I am discouraged that I can't read all of the books in the world, so I waste time thinking about how I don't want to waste time on a book that isn't worth it since I can't read them all. I want to photograph every wedding, I want to be at five at once, I want to experience them all. I want every opportunity. I WANT. So much that instead of inspiring me, the quote "If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves" makes me feel hopeless. I am not doing all of those things.
The interesting thing for me about reading and pursuing The Happiness Project is that I'm learning to re-evaluate what I am working towards. I've said it before I know, but the thing that I've realized that I want the most is to be happy. And when I ruminate on an ideal life it's full of things like time with my husband, time doing a craft with my hands (lettering, now), photographing personal projects, the occasional book reading outside, and it's absolutely full of lush green trees. The other day I thought about how much I literally want to hug some trees I love them so much. I am a wannabe tree hugger. Absurd.
If you want to skip all the above, this is the paragraph to skip to. THE ONLY THING THAT GETS ME OUT OF MY SLUMP when I compare my life to others that seem to be living out dreams that I think I have, is to think about my ideal life. Does it include the covers of magazines? For a second, yes, it very much does, but then I realize that you have to keep that up to keep the high. Just like buying clothes, for me at least, the high dies quickly most of the time, and then I buy more striped shirts to get the feeling again. It's much like a religious high. Do I want to be published on my favorite blogs? Why yes, yes I do, but I don't want that as much as some other things, like having friends and spending time with them, or spending some time actually sitting outside to admire the trees I love so much.
One of my biggest revelations at the Making Things Happen intensive last year was that the thing I thought I wanted most (my main goal in business at least), was making money, but that the thought behind that was that money would allow me to spend more quality time with my husband, as if time spent in better clothes or at nicer restaurants was any better than a higher quantity of time at home or just being together. I realized the goal was really to work really but for less total time per week, to make the projects I take on worth the time and energy I'd be putting into them (making them things I like or that fire me up), and to LIVE more.
Workaholics are distracting themselves from a feeling of failure. I am deathly afraid of wasting time and work never seems like a waste of time. It seems admirable. If I am working I can put off my wish of reading more, running more, creating more art. I can even distract myself from a desire to do things that spend money by spending time "making more money". And other such nonsense.
Back to comparison and envy, though, I see the things that other people do and I get excitable, wishing that I was a part of everything, growing envious that I'm not, kicking myself for having no time to do those things anyway since I'm too busy working always. I never wanted to get on the computer when I was little unless my sister was on. These are the parts of childhood I wish I'd left there. I want to create my own dreams, not live someone else's. To make this little life cozy and comfortable and full of little evergreen shrubs and hand lettered everything.
I meant to share a lot of quotes about envy and I suppose I will, but this post appears far too long as it is, so I will save them for the next post, which hopefully will not take four months and some negative feelings to come out.
I do hope that you take away that other people's dreams don't diminish your own. If you live a content life, you have achieved what we all really wish for. Happiness is the ultimate in enviable traits.