There are some myths about us folks what are living the creative dream. I know there are, because they are thoughts I used to thunk when I met somebody living the way I wanted to.
These myths became my excuses, for so many years, for not getting on with my own dreams.
Here are some of them:-
1) Well, you just got lucky - I'm not lucky.
The trick is to recognise the GOOD luck when it comes your way - and grab it quick. All of us get opportunities, but they are rarely 100% perfect, so most of the time we don't take them.
The chance to take The Art House wasn't perfect, it was scary as hell, but I just couldn't live with passing up that opportunity. So yes, I got lucky, and then I took the gift of luck and ran with it (with a lot of help from a lot of wonderful people, I might add).
2) You are a 'naturally happy' person
Huh? What's one of those?
I think this worried looking baby photo proves that this is not the case. Bless. What was I so worried about I wonder?
Let's get one thing straight - being happy takes focus and work. It's pretty natural, but it still takes work.
I've been labelled with depression by medical professionals, and had weeks where I couldn't get out of bed (yes, me, thrower of glitterbombs, the same!). I've had sad things happen in my life (because life does that, you know?), had my hopes dashed and my heart broken.
I'm no more naturally happy than the next person - but I have decided that I won't accept being unhappy most of the time. Been there, done that, not up for it no more.
So I do the stuff I need to to stay happy. I look after my happiness like it's a plant, or something, you know?
3) You must have more energy than everyone else.
Oh I wish! Nope, I get really, really tired a lot of the time. My life is very busy and full, and it all gets on top of me. I stay up too late, do too much and then collapse in a heap because I've overdone it.
Doing the thing that really sings to your inner self DOES give you a lot of extra energy, energy you never have for stuff when your heart's not in it. I was amazed at how much more productive and efficient I could be, once I found my calling in life.
The trouble is often stopping before I wear myself out with too much fun stuff. Boing, boing, boing, CRASH!
4) You aren't afraid, that's why you can take risks
Oh come on! Of COURSE I am afraid, mega afraid, of all the same stuff everyone is! I wasn't born with that bit missing, or trained out of having the same worries and anxieties as everyone else. Rejection, ridicule, failure and all those yukky things still stalk me in the dead of night.
Every time I teach a new class, create a new product or (gulp) put my artwork online I am petrified. Quaking in my boots.
It doesn't stop me though! I glitterbomb those scary stalkers and get on with it.
5) You must be so popular!
Ah, here's the myth I believed the most and the one that was a shock when I uncovered the truth. Honestly, we're each of us only really likeable and interesting to just a handful of people. That's the way it is.
Sure, many lovely folks really appreciate my work, are thankful for the help I've given them and even (yup I'll just come out and say it) admire what I've achieved, and tell me so. It's wonderful.
But, I have around the same amount of really close chums as I always did. Those same people who think you're pretty cool may feel that they can't relate to you intimately. People don't tend to befriend 'leaders' - ask anyone in a leadership or teaching role and they'll tell you the same.
I introduce a lot of people to each other, many friendships form in the classes & groups I run and at The Art House - many, many social groups that I'm not included in because I'm 'teacher'. Yup, it does hurt a bit! Nope, I'm not going to take it as a reflection on myself as a person. The important thing, as with everything, is to remember that it ain't personal - nothing ever really is.
Some people are bonkers enough to be my friends, which is an important qualification, and they are quite sufficient! Like young Ziggy here, bessie mate and mad as a bag of frogs. Vegan frogs. Who like Robocop.
6) AhHA, well if you're not perfect, you must be faking it then....
Nope. If I'm pissy, I act pissy. If I need to be alone, I'll be alone. I enjoy a good strop and a good sulk as much as the next person.
When I'm bouncing around a room throwing handfuls of glitter at people and shouting 'Whoop', it's the real deal. When I'm cheering somebody on, I'm full of excitement and bliss at the wonderful job I get to do.
The only thing I fake is a scary teacher voice when I'm trying to get a room full of people to stop chatting. It's very effective, but it's not really my voice - I borrowed it off an awesome teacher I once worked with called Elizabeth.
Happiness takes practice and it takes skills. One of those, is the skill to snap the hell out of your blue funk and tap into some joy - especially when other people are counting on you for it.