If it’s one of those days – don’t lose heart

I wake up with an uneasy feeling. It’s snowing outside, the first snow this year. But I don’t really care.

I open up Facebook and Instagram and see how all the people I follow are doing so great. All those photographers, lifestyle bloggers, writers, all those people are living their dreams. The beautiful photographs, videos, selfies, landscapes, couples, beautiful colors, and lighting, mostly they inspire me, but today is the day where it pushes a different button. I know it’s wrong. Everybody says: be content with yourself, love your life, strive for the best. They’re right, of course. But that’s not how I always feel.

Writing this, I just hope I’m not the only one out there having those days. As a creative, there are some of those days where I feel that I’m just not enough. Where the haunting feeling creeps in that I’ll never ever make it. Well … Those people are lucky. They find their niche, they know what they’re doing, love their jobs. They live in the cities I want to live in, meet the people I want meet. But I just wake up in this boring old bed in my boring old apartment, looking out the window, wondering if things will ever change.

Please don’t get me wrong. I still love my job, and I love my life. I’m grateful for everything I have. But there are those days. There is so much more I want to do. There is this drive we feel like artists, every morning and every evening. It’s good, generally, because it drives me to places and forms my work. But sometimes, this drive only reminds me of the unfulfilled dreams.

So what now? I guess we all lose heart, especially in these depressive winter months. But how exactly do we fight this feeling? I made up a battle plan for me today.

 

• Be thankful. 

I shut down all the social media accounts, put my phone on the side, and make a beautiful breakfast. Sitting at the window, staring at the white snow outside, I remind myself of all the things I can be grateful about. Sounds cheesy, but bear with me. I think we underestimate the power of gratefulness. And there is so much we can be thankful for in our lives. My yummy breakfast for instance. My husband who is sleeping next door.

I think about my projects: The book I’m writing, the theater piece I’m preparing, the things that are still on hold. This could be an exciting year after all. All the travel plans we made this year. All the great projects that will come up. Well, I do feel better right away.

 

• Stop believing the lie.

The people on Instagram and co. generally inspire. But sometimes, we feel that lie that their lives are perfect. The truth is: We don’t know. We have no clue. For all there is, they have their own problems, struggles, and fights.

How do I know? Because I AM this person. I do have my blog, my Instagram account, but I got up this morning, feeling miserable about my life. YOU are this person. Maybe we’re not where we want to be, but what artist is? Even at the top, the striving for more never stops. I even heard that reaching the top, many feel more miserable because they got what they wanted, and it didn’t fulfill them. So what’s the lie? The lie is that your work, your success, and your creation will finally fulfill you forever. It’s never going to happen. You will never stop striving. This can mean only one thing: You need to love the process.

• Stay in the moment

There is no other life for you than the life you have right now. And I believe that this is the best life there could be for me. I do make decisions that impact my life. But there have been decisions that were made for me, like the place and family I was born in, the social status and much more. I believe those decisions God (or fate, or anything else) made for me were beautiful ones. I love my family, love my birthplace and all the steps that led me here, even though it is far from ideal.

Make peace with your past and live in the present.

I finished my breakfast, got up from the window and wrote this article. Next, I’ll commit the rest of my morning to correcting the first draft of my novel. I live in the moment by creating. Because if you tasted it once, you know that this is the true joy of it. Not the likes, the clicks, and the comments. Yes, the feedback is invaluable. But real joy lies in the moment of the creation process as soon as you lose yourself in it. So – let’s lose ourselves and create.

February 5, 2017

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