Somehow, at the end of my ride home, the perfect song always seems to come up to remind me that life is spectacular. Tonight it was “Why’d You Walk Away?” by The Potential Johns.
Here’s the first real break in the chronology. I spent between four and five hours painting it earlier tonight.
As I mentioned earlier, I had been stressing out about this site. Heather asked me the other day what I was trying to get out of it. “Money and attention,” I told her. And then I backpedaled because I was really thrown by my answer. And then I was just sort of confused. Was that really what I was after? If so, what the fuck was wrong with me?
Tonight I realized that nothing’s wrong with me – well, not that anyway. That is the purpose of this site and I’m totally okay with that. Because that’s NOT the purpose of the content, just the site itself. My journals (both while in treatment and today) aren’t something that I write for money or attention. They’re usually the product of intense psychic trauma that I’m trying to get rid of – especially these days. In treatment, I tried to journal every day just for its own sake. Lately, I really only journal when I’m incredibly stressed out and need to get some shit out of my head and in front of my eyes. Similarly, my artwork is all about emotional balance. I make it because it’s what I have to do in order to stay sane. When I don’t make it, I start stressing out about stupid shit (like this website).
But I don’t need to share any of this stuff publicly, on the internet, in order to be well. I do it because I was encouraged by counselors and peers to dedicate as much of my time as possible to doing these creative things and to see if I could find a way to use the products of that time to support myself as well. I was told that the things I was making had value to other people and I decided to put myself out there and see what would happen. Thus far, the return I’ve gotten on that emotional risk has been incredible in just about every sense. It’s true that – since this site has launched – I haven’t gotten a ton of feedback, but we’re only talking about five days. I can’t even count how many people have reached out to me because of the things I’ve put out there prior to this week. I can hardly comprehend the amount of love and support people have shown me as a result of all of this.
The site is about marketing in a sense and so it’s disappointing when I’m not selling anything or getting as much attention as I’ve become accustomed to, but that’s some bullshit on my part. I need to remember to be grateful for all that I have received. I also need to remember to be humble. Posting old journal entries from when I first got into treatment… there may be some value to it, but it’s probably not quite as fascinating to read as I initially thought it might be. Which leads me to the most important point – that I need to remember to honor myself with honest self-expression. Yesterday has happened. What matters is today. What matters is how I’m feeling, how I’m doing, and what I’m doing today. And today, I’m back to focusing on the process of creating art, rather than what might come of it down the road.
Psst… If you notice any weird lines in the image, it’s ’cause I had to use a low-resolution camera and I pieced together a few close-up photographs. (I’ll replace it with a better photo once I’m able).
Bonus! Remember when I was talking about “Why’d You Walk Away” by The Potential Johns?
(And if you don’t already have it, go pick up their most recent 7-inch, which has maybe my favorite Potential Johns song ever).