Do you feel “special”? Do you long to feel special? It seems to me that people strive so hard to be special, to be exceptional. Ordinary is for losers…or at least that is the message we seem to get from society.
I’ll admit that I share this obsession. Maybe part of my problem started with being an overachiever in grade school. I always had to be the fastest, the best in my class. I went to all the gifted programs and was praised for exceptionally high standardized test scores. I was highly competitive and a horribly sore loser…something I still struggle with to some extent lol.
The problem is that when you are told all the time growing up how “exceptional” you are, it sets you up for unrealistic expectations in the real world. In the real world, it isn’t always the smartest, the most talented, or the hardest working that succeed, and that is a bitter pill to swallow.
From my experience, the ones most likely to succeed are the ones that have wealth and powerful families behind them. Yes, some people do manage to crack the glass ceiling alone by sheer luck or being at the right place at the right time, but the majority at the top of any enterprise are generally those with connections the rest of us could only dream of.
Of course, you can focus on the feel-good, conciliatory message that “everyone is special”, which is undoubtedly true in some ways, but when I hear that, I always think about Dash from the Incredibles asking, “If everyone is special, is that really just a way of saying that nobody is special?”
Hey everyone! There were a few random things I wanted to share today. First, an update about my water heater situation….we now have hot water again! I can shower, I can brush my teeth, and I can flush the toilet again! Woo-wee!!! We are out almost $2,000 though, so that part really sucks.
Secondly, I want to thank you all so much for getting my blog to over 800 followers!!! That is awesome. I set a personal goal a while back to hopefully reach 1,000 followers by the end of the year and I might not exactly reach that, but I’m getting close and I appreciate all the support! You guys are awesome! You have no idea how much having communication with you all helps my mood and my attitude in general. You make me feel less alone and like I do have people in this world that care about me other than my immediate family.
Lastly, I want to share this awesome series of books with you all. If you are like me and you enjoy the children’s picture book format, but also have a sarcastic, wacky sense of humor, and a love for philosophy, I’m sure you will love this series just as much as I did!
The series is called the Animalosophy series (written by Eric Kesselman and illustrated by Erica Missey) and includes the following books:
#1 The Existential Giraffe
#2 The Moribund Mouse
#3 The Perspicacious Penguin
#4 The Nihilistic Sea Otter
Today I was inspired by a blog post from Judith over at Artistcoveries, in which she asks the question – Who do I want to be as an artist? I love thinking about stuff like this, so I wrote the question down in my journal and brainstormed my own answers. Here is what I came up with:
Who do I want to be as an artist?
- Unafraid to experiment
- Unafraid to offend
- Unafraid of mockery
- Confident in my creative abilities
- Willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of my art
- Use the materials I love, not feeling forced to use what is considered artistically “professional”
- Confident enough to charge what my art is worth (probably one of the hardest parts of being an artist in my opinion)
- I want to be loved and respected by other artists and art lovers, especially those in the autism, bipolar, and outsider art worlds
- I want to create what I like
- Overcome my fear of doing in-person art events (currently hindered by my crippling social anxiety)
- Monetarily successful enough to rely on my art for my general income
Do you relate to any of these wishes? Who do you want to be as an artist?
- I don’t owe you anything!
- I’m nothing like you.
- You don’t own me and you never did.
- You deserve what you got.
- Sometimes I feel nothing for you.
- You are at fault for so much.
- You have no one to blame but yourself.
- You are lucky to have anyone who still cares.
- I’m a saint for forgiving you.
- Without me, you’d have nothing!
- I hate you sometimes.
- You’ll never break me.
- I’ll never crack.
- I am a much better person than you’ll ever be.
- I’m smarter than you.
- You fuel my creativity with anger, disgust, frustration, and grief.
- I’ve made something good out of your mess.
- I am superior – by actions and attitude.
- Your religion doesn’t hide the truth.
- I found love and success in spite of you.
- I’m the person you always wanted to be, but couldn’t.
- Toys have always been better company than you.
- You helped me find and lose faith in God.
- I will heal.
- I’m STRONGER than you.
*By the way, BetterHelp has a great article on emotional abuse, I would recommend it!
Here are a few important questions to ask yourself about your purpose and meaning in life! For fun, I have provided my own answers to them as an example! If you do answer these, I would recommend taking the time to write them down, think about them carefully, and be as honest as you can!
- What is your life work? My Answer: Writing, sharing ideas and emotions, creating art, advocating for and comforting others with autism, mental illness, and chronic pain/illness.
- What is the meaning of your life? What gives you purpose? My Answer: Inspiring others (kids, fellow Aspies, those with disabilities, other outsiders). Loving family, friends, and animals (loyalty).
- What is your passion? My Answer: Writing, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, toys, books, animals, art, creativity.
- What does the world lose if I wasn’t here? My Answer: A child-like, loving heart and spirit. Loss of inspiration and creativity. The loss of a voice crying out for justice and harmony. Loss of a unique thinker.
- What would it take to begin fully living my dreams today? My Answer: Time, the willingness to fail or be ridiculed, the possibility of being proven wrong, unwavering belief in myself, trust in what is meant to be, hope.
Yesterday I received the news, a publisher officially wants to publish my picture book manuscript. It’s only a small press, and my book will only start out with a small run, but depending on how hard I am willing to work to promote it, the sky is the limit. I am so excited and can’t wait to hold my own book in my hands. I think the first thing I will do when I get it is to sniff it and savor that new book smell.
Along with all the excitement and the pride, comes a lot of nerves though. I keep hearing the same refrain go through my head: what if no one wants to buy my book? What if I set up a book reading or signing and absolutely no one comes? Or even worse, what if a bunch of people come and I get all tongue tied or want to puke while talking to them? What if none of the local bookstores will even let me come speak? And one of my biggest fears of all…what if I don’t even like my book? After all, I’m not illustrating it, so what happens if the book looks nothing like I imagined?
If only I could shut all of these thoughts down long enough to actually enjoy the process. Is this normal? Do all writers go through these panic attacks before they sell their first book? Someone please reassure me that I am not freaking losing my mind!