Best-selling author Kelly Corrigan reads an excerpt from her April 2010 Glamour magazine essay
This touched something in me that is screaming to get out!!! Why do we do this to our children and, even worse, to ourselves? Why do we let our inner mean child direct our decisions and our lives?
Who do you think you are?
Why do we keep a secret of what we so desire to do…which is probably our purpose in this one short, precious life! How many times did you hear those words from someone who really, really loved you? How many times have you said that to yourself?
Self-consciousness holds us hostage and snuffs out our dreams!
We have this one life to achieve our dreams…to be who we want to be. Yet we often bend our dreams to fit the mold created by other well-meaning people in our lives. I studied journalism instead of art and dance in college because my father said, “You can stay home and throw paint on stuff!”
How could he ever know that throwing paint on stuff what exactly what I was supposed to do in my life? The season of my life when I became a professional decorative painter (faux finisher) and literally began to throw paint on things for pay was the massive turning point in my professional life. It is what led me her to be with you today and you here reading my words.
Suspension of disbelief!
Only when, or if, we suspend DISbelief will we be able to reach for our dreams. I don’t want you to look back at the end of this year with regret. Even more I absolutely do not want you to look back at the end of your life and say, “What if?”
“What if I didn’t have to work full time?”
I know, and you probably do too, many artists who worked full time while creating a body of work, building a reputation and a following. They worked on their art at night and carved out time they could create in little pieces. I say…if it is important enough to you...you can do it!
“What if I had more money so I could quit my job?”
Who ever has enough money? It is all about choices. Can you live with less…and older car…an inexpensive apartment…last decades fashions? What if you were downsized or laid off tomorrow? Could you turn that into the path to your dream? I did!!! So…if it is important enough to you.…..you can do it!
“What if I had an art degree?”
Go get one. If you have some good reason not to be able, create your own art education program online by visiting YouTube , websites and blogs for FREE tutorials on every genre and technique you are interested in. BTW, many successful artists never studied art…they practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced more until they became masters. So…if it is important enough to you.…..you will find a way to do it!
“What if I had more experience?”
Practice! Practice! Practice! That is all it takes. Relentless pursuit. Hours spent working at your passion! But it must must must be your passion! The only way to become a master of anything is to do it over and over again until it become part of you. So...if it is important enough to you.…..you will find a way to do it!
“What if I had published a book?”
Anyone can publish a book today. Start with an e-book that you write in WORD and make into a PDF. Give it away to your blog readers or people who stop by your website. If the response is good, then write another one to sell. WHen you have enough people buying it a publisher might be interested. If not, you can self-publish with several websites today. XLibris. CreateSpace. LuLu. So…if it is important enough to you.…..you will manage to do it!
“What if I had put myself out there?”
Today, more than any other time in history, it is simple to create a name for yourself through social media. Notice I said simple, not easy. As with anything important, it takes a commitment and time. You can have a blog up and running within minutes. You can be on FaceBook and Twitter in minutes. You can have a good professional profile on LinkedIn within an hour. Then you can start building realtionships by interacting. You can also submit your work to magazines both online and off. Enter the calls for art they publish. Trust me, they are always looking for new and upcoming artists. Send me your story and I will work with you to publish your work on Cre8tive Compass Magazine. Again…if it is important enough to you.…..you can become known!
“What if I had just gone for it?”
This could be the worst regret ever! What do you have to lose? Time mostly. Finally…if it is important enough to you.…..you will simply do it, one step at a time…closer to your dream!
Trust me, before I became known…before I became an author…before I put myself out there on a daily basis…before I just said, “To heck with it…I am going to go for it RIGHT NOW!!” I was exactly where you are today.
I was stressed out…underpaid…undervalued…and just plain sad and empty! I did not want to wake up as an eight year old woman sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair with a tear slowly falling down my wrinkled cheek thinking, “I could have so done that!”
So shut your eyes and imagine yourself at 80 sitting on your front porch. Try to feel yourself there. It may take a few minutes to see yourself. Then look into your eyes. Do you see any regrets? Stay with this feeling even if it is difficult and sad. Experience the real emotions. Do you like what you see?