I’ve been working on the Making Something Every Day Project now for 208 days.
Earlier this week, you might have noticed that I didn’t post anything from the project for two days. Sunday, I was busy, busy, busy with church and the gym and friends and other projects that I just didn’t get anything done that day. Monday rolled around and and I thought, “Why bother?” I gritted my teeth on Tuesday and posted a crochet picture for Day 206 to try to get back in the swing of things. Wednesday I felt better still, so I posted a new ATC for Day 207.
Then today, I was going to offer to help a friend with a project and checked Facebook for details on the event only to see another of her friends is a graphic designer. I wanted to see her work so I clicked on over to her page. It. Was. Beautiful. Work. I didn’t (and won’t) offer up my services.
I’ve had a love/hate thing with my graphic design career for a long time. I am an average designer. I’m not trying to gain sympathy or get pats on the back. I see it. I know it. And when I left that field to do computer tech work, I was ok leaving it behind because I was so burned out with the design work I’d been doing at the ad agency. Since we moved here, I’ve freelanced off and on mostly so I don’t get so rusty that my fingers fall off.
When I saw this woman’s work, I had more than a few moments of envy. I don’t feel this way often. I feel like one of my strengths is my ability to appreciate others and their talents and celebrate them both as people and for the creative work they do. And along with that skill, I am comfortable with who I am and what I do, without comparing my work to the amazing work that other people do. This morning those skills completely abandoned me. As I sat looking at her blog of amazing work, it crossed my mind to abandon the Make Something Every Day Project.
The kids and I ran out for a few errands before lunch and I stopped to chat with a friend for a few minutes. She had a painting that someone had done for her. It was amazing. The painter is in her early 20s. It hit me again that I don’t think that anything I do looks even half as good AND I’m twice her age.
So why did it take 205 days to get to me? I have been doing some good work. I’ve been stretching myself creatively. I can see the improvement in my own work. It doesn’t look like either of these women’s work. But that’s not the point. The point is for me to grow in my work. To learn to listen more clearly to my own creative voice. Beyond that, I’ve inspired others to take up their own creative projects. This gig is clearly working for me, so where is this uncharacteristic doubt coming from?
I don’t have these answers (or answers to lots of other questions for that matter). But I’m not going to let this doubt stop me. I came home from lunch and sat down at the table to make something today. And I’ll make something tomorrow as well. Eventually the doubt will recede. Or I will learn to work around it.