If I had a dollar for every time someone was negative towards my dreams, I would be a millionaire.
When are you going to get a job?
When are you going to grow up?
When are you going to be realistic?
When are you going to stop being a bum?
Are you still acting and writing? How old are you now?
It’s just a pipe dream!
I’m not going to lie, the criticism has drowned me at times. I have stayed under water for months, not speaking to anyone, not leaving my bed (except to wee).
Why can’t they support me?
Why can’t they be happy for me?
Why does my dream annoy them so much?
Yet, I continue to surface and I continue to create art because it’s the only thing that really nourishes me. Creativity loves me unconditionally and accepts me in whatever state I am in when I arrive at its door.
For years I was confused by people’s negative attitudes. I wanted to please them, impress them and make them understand. I wanted them to love me and love my dream as much as I did.
I would lie so they wouldn’t criticize me. I would pretend that I was someone else to make them feel better. When I wasn’t lying, I justified myself to them. I felt I owed them an explanation for having the audacity to even try.
I never chose to be an artist, it chose me. It would have been easier to have a normal job, but I didn’t want easier. I wanted authenticity. I wanted to honor my heart-songs.
Didn’t it make sense to spend your life doing what you wanted to do? Didn’t it make sense to reach for the stars? I never understood people that neglected their aspirations. Surely denying your heart was a one-way street to unhappiness.
And that’s when it clicked. Their negativity wasn’t about me, it was about them. A well-adjusted person who is doing what they love never feels threatened. They celebrate other people’s success and push them to soar higher. Those who can’t be happy for you, feel threatened.
This realization relieved a lot of stress. I no longer had to worry about what people thought. What mattered most was what I thought of myself.
Was I living my dream? Was I having fun? Was my life fucking beautiful?
Yes. I was living an existence that was aligned with my heart.
Living a financially insecure life with long stints of unemployment is not for everyone. But the highs eliminate the lows. Getting a well-paid acting gig or having a book published is like a small crumb on the yellow brick road. It gives you motivation to keep going, to keep treading the ever-evolving path.
The naysayers don’t deserve an artist’s energy. One must use their jibes as fuel. I have a fire burning within me, it keeps my soul warm. I write, I act, I create, I perform, I scream and I be.
I am living my dream and living your dream takes courage.