So I’d proposed another of my “challenges” in my previous blog. I wanted to force myself to draw and to write every single day. I promised to post a blog at the end of each day documenting my success.
Well I failed.
On day one.
I went home, I plopped in front of the TV, I watched the musical episode of Once Upon a Time, then I watched the movie Arrival, then I watched YouTube videos until midnight, and the only progress I made was to pull out my sketchbook, set it on the desk beside me with a pencil holding place of the next blank page, and then promptly ignored it like it wasn’t there.
However, one thing did come out of this failed challenge: I learned something.
As I sat there, looking at my sketchbook out of the corner of my eye as Charming and Snow sang their “Power of Love” ballad, I asked myself why I wasn’t drawing. Why I hadn’t picked up the sketch book and started drawing.
TV wasn’t the excuse. I wasn’t being distracted by the Evil Queen singing a deep toned angry song of power-hungry evil. I’ve established that I can draw quite effectively with background noise/distractions such as TV or droning history professors. There was something else.
As Hook begin singing his tune of vengeance and cracked open my sketchbook, figuring I’d just doodle a little, warm up. I saw the left-hand page with the last scribble I’d done. It was poor, I didn’t like it at all. The last time I’d drawn, I’d been working on that scribble, I’d stopped halfway through frustratingly, closed the book and forgotten. There it was, mocking me. I closed the book and returned my full attention to Hook.
As the show continued I shot sideways glances at the sketchbook, wondering what was wrong with me, why I was so loath to pick it up.
I knew the answer already. I’ve known it, I’ve talked about it. I’ve struggled to accept it or do anything about it. Fear. Not the bone-chilling, spine-tingling, heart-racing kind of fear. The deep seeded, depressing, oppressive, keep you from taking risks or trying new things kind of fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of failure. Fear of the time and hard work it will take to improve.
My greatest struggle is the fight between my logical side that knows The Truth, and my squishy emotional side that doesn’t want to accept the Truth, or ignores it, or keeps me from doing what needs to be done.
So here is what I know.
I know that if I keep snacking on junk and going over my calories I wont lose weight.
I know that losing 200 pounds is so much better than eating a snickers. That no amount of macaroni and cheese can compare to the day when I slip into a size pants that doesn’t have an X in it.
I know that I won’t get better as an artist if I don’t practice.
I know that I won’t ever publish a book if I don’t write.
I know that I will never be the person I want to be if I don’t start working towards being that person, and cementing the changes I’ve been struggling with.
I know the only thing holding me back is me. There is no secret answer, no reddit post that I will read, or blog, or article, or book, that will give me the magical answer to make my mind suddenly want nothing more than to pick up a pencil and draw.
I need to realize that the dread of failure, that the hesitancy, and the loathing, will all be there when I pick up a pencil, or start to type. But that I need to continue on despite those feelings, that I need to force through them.
And I don’t need to do crazy challenges like unhooking my computer, or setting a specific time of day to do things for x-number of days. I just need to make myself do them. I need to stop trying to figure out how to trick myself into wanting things whole-heartedly, and I need to just do it.
Change is hard. Internal, emotional, mental change is hard. It’s a process. But it’s not a long process. It’s a quick one. It’s a “make a decision” followed by “put that decision into practice.” Sure, mistakes happen. But if I want to start being less selfish, less emotional, I can’t say thing like “I am trying to be this” I need to just be this. I need to be over emotional and lazy and cheat on my diet one minute, and then make a choice to change and be a more relaxed, less selfish, studious in my calorie counting and art and writing type of person the next minute. And that minute is now.
Sure, some things might slip through the cracks. But just like I am counting calories now, when a mistake happens I acknowledge it, accept it, and move on.
Here is who I want to be:
I want to be passionate about the things I love.
I want to be less needy, less selfish and less emotional.
I want to get better as an artist, and work towards improving.
I want to write a novel, maybe an RPG setting to go with it.
I want to lose 200 pounds, and stop cheating on my calories.
I want to stop spending frivolously.
I want to be more organized and productive at work.
I want to pay off my credit card, then save up and buy an old truck, then save up and buy land, then start building a house.
I want to be a better DM.
Starting today, starting right this second, I am going to chose for all those statements to be true. May 9, 2017, 11:03 AM EST is when Carrie the selfish, lazy, over-emotional, diet-cheating slob became Carrie, the relaxed, understanding, caring, passionate, studious, productive, artistic and creative woman working to lose weight, improve her art, write a novel, and be an all around better person.
Took me long enough.