I drank a lot tonight. I was with friends, admittedly, and it was a good time, but I'll admit it was at least partly motivated by my bad moods lately.
What really resonated with me was how hard and fast I tanked once the alcohol high wore off. It was the moment when my friends mentioned someone I knew (and disliked) in University who is now working towards getting his PhD. Something I could be doing right now, but prefer and choose not to. In spite of this conscious decision, something that I coincidentally had to face during my trip just three weeks ago, I'm troubled by the comparison to where I am in my life.
I am painfully aware that drawing comparisons are counter to finding satisfaction in life, but I can't help but feel that it can sometimes highlight points of concern. A lot of this stems from my present insecurities, which I've been grappling with over the past week or so, and I am aware that it will sound irrational, because it likely is.
The fact is that this is how I've been feeling, quite strongly at that, and I need to get these emotions out in the open in a way that doesn't burden any one person with the brunt of it. It might seem a little awkward relying on a public journal to talk about these things when I am so fortunate to have many caring people that I could be confiding in instead, but I don't feel comfortable doing so. Not with this kind of thing.
Since I first graduated, my professional life has been quite a long series of fresh starts as I've experimented with and explored what I want to do with myself. I've arguably been through about 5 career changes, each of which bringing with it a reset of both my status and position. Shifting focus onto my art is the latest example of this, and it feels no different. While I might have the skills to rub two lines together and make some competent looking artwork, it doesn't seem to me like I have the draw (no pun intended) of other artists that I need to really "make it" in the end, and eke out a living from my work.
There is still a lot to do and a lot (and I mean a lot) that can be done to fix this, and I see that all laid out in front of me. I appreciate that it needs time, and I appreciate that my efforts have been focused on few things since I took the plunge to work on this on a more full-time basis. However, as I deal with the here and now, the individual brushstrokes that eventually and laboriously lead to a finished product, it feels a lot like none of that makes any sense. That my best efforts are ultimately only going to be in vain, or that the enthusiasm I put into the work won't really ever be met with much of the same from my audience.
It's terrifying and demotivating.
Being surrounded by so much success has me feeling like I don't really amount to much. Even though everything I've done in the latter years of my life has been out of my own volition, and rarely been experiences of what you'd call catastrophic failure, looking back on them all seems like much less than the sum of their parts.
At the very least, I can say that despite all my concerns, my insecurities, and my fears... I'm still trying. I don't know how, or if it will last much longer, but right now I can manage to wake up in the morning, hate myself and what I'm doing, and still manage to make something with my time. I don't know if it will be worthwhile, or if I'll get to keep doing it several months down the line. But for now, I guess I'll just have to keep trying and find out.