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"Maybe Art Just Isn't Your Thing."

Like the student in the video, back in high school I had an art teacher who told me art just "wasn't my thing"

>>> Cut to now, *15 years later*:<<<

Today, I own my own business Sploosh Spray Painting, and I am working as an Artist full time. I am doing this while recovering from a Substance Abuse Disorder which nearly destroyed my entire life a year or so ago, before I was forced into treatment. Despite all of the adversity addiction brought into my life through my poor choices including chronic homelessness, losing relationships with friends and family, and battling the inner demons of my mental health, I did it. I followed my dream and became a full time artist.

By the way, that teacher was only employed at my high school for 1 year...

I guess teaching just "wasn't her thing."

There will always be those who are quick to judge, doubt, and even hate you without ever knowing you. They will never see beyond the threshold of their closed minds.

In my previous life, I spent some years working in the field of mental health as both a personal support worker, and then in case management. As with many workers in that field, I reached a point 4-5 years in where I became burnt out and my paycheck no longer justified the stress and sleepless nights, not to mention the mountains of paperwork required on a weekly bases in order to sustain the pace necessary to keep up with state requirements.

I reached a point where I came to a conclusion that life is simply too short to be unhappy. There is no sense in working at a "job" you hate 40+ hours a week, making someone else more $ than you will ever have, "earning" wages which don't come close to covering basic living costs for your family, where the mere thought of waking up in the morning causes you anxiety, and you are punished for having priorities/needs in life which may conflict with the schedule they expect you to always be available for.

Believe it or not...

There are other paths aside from buying into this silly, outdated 40 hour/week belief system which still forces you to rely on government assistance to make ends meet, because your employer won't pay what is *needed* to cover basic living, childcare, and healthcare costs. There are ways to make a living without the cost of being miserable.

Stop killing yourself with stress and ignoring what is really best for you to please a company that would replace you within the hour if you died today.

Companies demand loyalty and diminish respect to who you are outside of their use of you, you are nothing to them if not on the clock. Our time here is precious, and limited. You really think you'll regret taking a sick day tomorrow when reflecting on your life 10 or 20 years from now?

What you will regret is all you never allowed yourself the time/space to go and do now because you "had to work."

You don't "have" to do anything. You can choose a different vocational path which excites and engages you, with a schedule that is built around your needs, and checks all the boxes on that list of what would make you truly, purposefully, fulfilled as an individual.

It won’t happen overnight. It is utterly terrifying. And it is not easy. There have been many, many weak moments where I have questioned whether or not my choice to work for myself was a good idea, where I have found myself in tears, contemplating giving up, feeling like a failure because someone dear to me told me the ultimate killer of all muses;

"Maybe you should get a REAL job."

Overcoming voices of doubt, both the internal and external, takes time and dedication to a sometimes irrational belief in yourself, and what you’re working to accomplish. It takes a skin thick enough to weather the negative opinions of those you love, who simply don't believe in your choices or how you’re living your life. They have been separated from living their best life, from living a happy life, while slowly committing suicide in order to "make a living."

They forget to live while they are making a living.

To live on your own terms takes guts. It takes intelligence, diligence, self-awareness, and willingness to make sacrifices to get to that place where you are excited to wake up every day, and know you are meant to be where you are, and to be doing what you are doing.

People who are not brave enough to try, people who are too blind to see beyond the fence caging them in, won’t understand that their comments, even if they are coming from love, are based in their own fears stemming from their own lack of self-worth, which renders them unable to share in your vision of going after a dream, or living your best life, instead of following the status-quo of our society “making a living” doing something that makes you miserable..

They may seem condescending or judgemental. They will point out your biggest fears as if your inner voices of doubt don’t keep you awake at night with the carousel of worst case scenarios mirroring their points of "you wont make any money" or "how will you support yourself?" and "hardly anyone becomes successful doing that."

"Have you thought about getting a REAL job?"

No matter what, keep going.

Don’t EVER stop. That’s really what you can’t afford to do.

As for the ones who don’t believe in you:

Forgive them. Smile and prove them wrong. Whether facing friend or enemy, the greatest revenge and victory is found in silent and actionable success. Never lose your focus or diminish yourself in any way. Take up space. Assert your worth without diminishing the worth of others.

Remember that your journey is yours and you are doing something they cannot understand, and it is not your job to explain particle physics to the particles.

Stay Weird,


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