Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Artist's Way - Olbigatory Week 2.5 panic

I have hit Thursday with quite the most massive crisis of confidence I've had in years in a massive, messy  rebellion of the basic principals that goes a little bit like this:

God I don't FIT anywhere. I am even supposed to BE anywhere? I literally have no definition to what I am or what I do with my life. I specialise in nothing. Jack of all trades, master of none. Specialist skills wandering around vaguely after everyone else thinking "How do they know all this?" and feeling out of my depth. Not so much a crisis of confidence as a crisis of Identity - I have nothing that defines me and it's AWFUL!  I have WASTED my time as a human being! What am I doing with my life? Literally just flitting around being mediocre at everything? There's so much I enjoy and so much I'm OK at doing and not a lot that's either one or the other! How the hell do I choose? I am running out of time, I'm getting on for 25, and I am just little fragmented bits of stuff with not even consistent personality traits. And it's completely hilarious that I'm suddenly trying to START trying to get my life together now. I'm supposed to be top of my game NOW, not in however many years time it's going to take to actually achieve anything. Just a lump of flesh and bone pretending to be "creative", definitive proof that some people were just born to be shit no matter how much work they put it. Someone has to be bottom of the pile. Hi everyone! Feel free to overtake, I've got a speed limit.


So as you can see, I have hit something of a slump. Working with a CBT thought diary kind of process - there's plenty of evidence that I am, in fact, a basic idiot with limited capacity for knowledge on any subject and essentially imagination-less.
I am most certainly not a specialist in anything. I used to get angry when people implied that I wasn't a proper actor if I'd not been in anything they knew, but now I see their point. You might be an actor, but you haven't established yourself until you've proved your skills on a widely-received platform. You're not a poet until you've got several collections you can produce, or well known on the spoken word circuit. You're not a singer/songwriter until you've got a following of some kind, people who want to see you perform. It has occurred to me that creativity only becomes valid when it is appreciated - otherwise what is the point? It's just an indulgence.  I certainly have not achieved any kind of status in my art - I don't even have a definitive look, a way I do my hair or make up - I'm far too normal to be a proper artist. I won't establish myself as an individual because I'm too bland, too trying, too stupid to figure out how to do half the things I'd like.


Evidence against, sparse though it is, is nevertheless there. I do keep getting acting jobs, which in itself is a kind of demand - people want to work with me, something about me (Who knows what it is) suggests potential, and I feel in my heart that I do my job for the right reasons - I do feel artistic joy when I work, despite all the challenges I come against, and enough of a sense of "Ah, THIS is why I do this"  to make me want to continue and reassure me that I DO have some artistic sense. I am highly skilled in my own way - I am good at auditioning, which is rare, from what I've seen and heard - it has taken a lot of practise to enjoy my auditions, but it's a skill I can draw on for the rest of my life.

It is true that one of my biggest bug bears is that fact that I neglected my interests at school in favour of schoolwork, but I have worked hard and almost caught up - I am getting to know better and better every day what I want out of life and what I want to achieve, but I have this constant fear that it's too late, that I could have done more by now, that I can't do what I want now because I should have started earlier. I do feel stupid sometimes for carrying on, really stupid - the thought of exposing myself and my work is even more terrifying because it won't be "here I am, I know what I'm doing", it'll be "Here I am, right at the beginning, and I know this is not as good as it should be PLEASE TRY NOT TO HATE ME TOO MUCH." The only thing I can do, short of time travel to go back and work harder, earlier, is to just keep working and hope I can get back to where I should be.

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