the devastating part about wanting to be an artist is everything. it comes and it goes and it is not always good and sometimes it is so bad that it makes you question every last inch of yourself. i assume that all great art had its moments where it was second-guessing itself as it was being made. facing the responsibility of turning a canvas that is white and empty into something that is beautiful is so intimidating. enough to make you want to give up before you begin. you are terrified that you will wind up humiliating yourself, so you turn away from it all and you waste all your time and masturbate instead. you get lost on the internet and fall deep into your insecurities and convince yourself that you are no good and that you have no business being a creator. it is a mental merry-go-round that you can not seem to get off. so much so that even the horses on the ride are stuck.
to be an artist is to be lonely. making art is about being alone and it is about creating what you need in order to keep yourself warm. there is winter in this life. seasons come and seasons go, and sometimes life is cold and unforgiving just like the winds of the winter. it is meant to be a challenge, and an artist somewhat has had to face the strongest winds and deepest snow. there are no guarantees that when it comes to finding your way in this world. there are no promises and everything is based on faith. losing your faith can be easy because getting lost has always come so naturally. it is just you out there, and so badly have i wished that it was easier to see through the thick snow falling heavy on the ground. i wish we could all just march through the snow together. but then, if we did, we would be like everybody else. the ones who cling to each other to stay warm and who are too scared to brave the storm alone. i like to think i am brave. but from an artist point of view, i am nowhere near brave. because an artist is the one who has to be the bravest. an artist braves the storm alone. an artist faces pain head on. an artist has never turned around and walked back to the safety and warmth of being just like everyone else. an artist does not fit in nor does an artist want to.
sometimes i like to think i am an artist. sometimes i think i am a genius, and sometimes i think i am the stupidest person on this planet. sometimes i entertain myself with the thought of other forms of art out of fear of failing at what i was put here to do. sometimes i tell myself that i am a photographer or a dancer, maybe even a singer on nights when i jam out in my car (a part of me will never forgive myself for giving up on that dream when i was 8 — crazy how at 8 years old, i felt the judgment of others so hard that i turned away from the only thing that made me happy), and to others i refer to myself as a writer. even as i grew older though, i realized, those things are still painful to let go of. but as a result of that pain, i have built an imaginary world inside my head that helps me brave the storm. there is the real me, who hates getting out of bed in the morning. then there is the movie star version of me, who helps distract the real me from myself. sometimes i tell myself that i have no clue who i am, which is a lie i have grown so accustomed to telling myself, just to keep me from having to face the white empty canvas. because everything about everything is a white empty canvas, and it is your responsibility to bring it to life. throw all the colors in the rainbow on it and use it to dance or turn the canvas into a stage. all art is beautiful. slice it open and give it a heart transplant because you are constantly changing. argue with it until you are good enough at arguing that you can stand in front of a courtroom and defend the honest people who need your help. talk to it and find out what makes it ache and guide it through the emotions and the pain of its divorce or its rape, so when it cried so hard that it can hardly breathe, you have learned how to help it get up off the floor. teach it how to read and subtract and introduce it to stories that will remain in its heart long after it grows up. change its diaper and breastfeed it, because it is your child. help it not to forget what its imagination feels like. make it feel like it is not alone, and in return, it will do the same for you.
everything is art if you want it to be. if it is what you believe in and if it is the one things you cannot stop thinking about and if it makes you feel like you have a reason to breathe, then it is art. it is yours and nobody else’s. nobody can take that away from you. i believe we are all artist in some way as long as we can be brave enough to spend time out in the cold. it is meant to be hard, but you are leaving behind trails of color that you cannot see yet. and one day, after some time, you will be able to turn around and the winds will stop and you will be able to see the masterpiece that you have created — and you will smile at how far you have come. i promise. the sun will come out and the warmth will radiate across your skin, and you will be filled with light.
i often tell myself that i do not know who I am, but i do. i am a girl who loves to write. nothing more and nothing less, out here on my own, dancing through the snow and dreaming of better days. days where i have created something that will keep me warm and help me to not feel so lonely. and when i have made it through, after i have learned all the lessons, i will be able to fill all the voids with what i truly need. i will be standing at the end of the storm, wearing my best dress, dancing in the rain.