I picked up my paint brushes today. It’s my birthday. Great start. I sketched out an imaginary face and it was going great until I got stuck. I remembered this feeling. Felt this compelling need to capture what was going on in my brain in this moment. So this drove me to my laptop to type something out: when desire and unpolished talent have a baby, frustration is the result. So I wanted to think more about why this is evident in my life.
I have been grappling with some deep issues inside of me. There is this desire to be an artist and try to make a living at it. I have talent. That’s undeniable. I am not saying it. Others have said it. But talent is just that. It’s just talent. If I don’t couple it with hard work and continual practice it is always going to frustrate all of my desire. And if I don’t nurture my desire it is only going to produce more frustration and unhappiness inside of me. I will be deeply disconnected from myself.
(That whiny, petulant child who hasn’t been truly nurtured really gets loud at this point.)
Several months ago I read a book which tried to understand how successful people become successful. One of the outliers was practice, about 10,000 hours of practice before one became a master. I had a couple of things happen to me when I read that for the first time: 1) deeply discouraged because these successful people had put in the long hours of practice and I hadn’t, and 2) I became very angry at myself for the feeling of having “wasted” my life.
Someone said to me the other day that I needed to get out of the victim mentality. I got mad at them too. I honestly felt that I didn’t believe myself to be a victim. God, how blinded I am! My brain! I keep believing that I don’t have the resources to be what God made me to be—fulfilling those deep, deep desires that are within me that I don’t nurture….
Wait a minute. That isn’t entirely true. I am nurturing my writing, I guess. Don’t know if I am producing good stuff but I am producing.
And another thing about this is that I have had a pencil in my hand since I was five years old! I started drawing comic book characters. Damn those lies that I believe!
So here is the rub. If we are truly honest with ourselves I think that we will find that there are many assumptions we have made about life which aren’t even remotely true. And I think that we have to ultimately say, “Begone, damn ya! I am not going to believe the lies anymore.” Especially those lies that run contrary to what we know to be true deep down within our souls. But the problem is we haven’t made any room to listen to that faithful voice. We drown it out with so much noise. It doesn’t matter what you try to fit in its place. If it makes you confused, take a moment to understand why.
Over the next several posts I will be sharing what I have been thinking about this whole topic of destiny and purpose–and they are going to be brutally honest. Hope you stick around.