Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Living the Dream

As an illustrator with a dream, I often wonder when my dream will come true. When will I be earning a living from creativity? When will I have a book published? When, when when? But lately I have been realising how very blessed I am. I am understanding that I AM living the dream right now, every day. I am IN my happily ever after and I am trying to live accordingly. 

 I married my best friend and I am grateful for every moment in his company. He is my dream come true and I want for nothing. I have been realising that I have no right to expect that everything should always go my way, that all my goals will be reached. 

What I have is enough. I am content. I am more than content. I am so very deeply blessed and I know joy. Anything extra is just that, an extra. A bonus. If I succeed that will be so lovely. If I don't, I will not allow it to wreck my world. 

It is also dawning on me that the time before a particular dream comes true is a very precious time. I have hope of wonderful things to come. I get creative when I can. I think about ideas a lot of the time. I plan and explore continuously. But I am no longer desperate. I used to think that if I was truly talented I would be snapped up by a publishing company immediately, that it would all happen very quickly. That if it didn't, there was something wrong. Either they had got it wrong or I just had no talent at all.

That early momentum and motivation was helpful, but you can't live that way for long; you burn out. I know now how naive and foolish I was all those years ago when I first sent my artwork out into the world. I am an older, more mature person now and I am glad I didn't succeed back then. I would not have learned so much. I am still on this road to "success" but I am walking at a pace that is sustainable. 

I guess I'm just a little pensive right now, having just had my birthday. I was thinking about what each year brings to me and what I bring to each year. I have often been self-absorbed and selfish and it's a constant process to think of and act for others. I keep reminding myself that when my time comes to leave this world I would like to do so knowing I've acted well. That good intentions are carried out, that lazy options are ignored and that going the extra mile will be my habit. Leaving a mark on the world doesn't have to mean that galleries everywhere will forever display my drawings or that bookshops in every town will keep a continuous stock of my books. I hope that the mark I leave will be in people's lives. That the state of my heart will be open and clear to think of others and love them. That I will have patience and forgiveness for those that test it. That I will have restraint where necessary, that I will choose kind and encouraging words instead of harsh, accusing ones. I sometimes wonder why everyone in the world expects the world to change because of what others do. The world is a wonderful and terrible place. We make it so. A good world begins inside our hearts and if you want to make an impact, start there. If you have children, teach them too.  Teach them the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, honesty and deception, kindness and cruelty, love and hate. It begins inside us. For those who wish the world was different, change is possible. 

I realise that there are a lot of expectations in the world. Expectations from parents and friends. From the general public and the media. People expect us all to want more. We even feel we need more. But what we actually NEED is less. We need less in order to learn to appreciate. What is the point of having all we need if we are not satisfied with it? I want to appreciate all that is good in the world. And for all that is bad, I will not be deterred. 

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