18 Apr '17 — Another unlearning
I had wrapped my self esteem in my work.
I realized for the first time that I am not my work.
For most of my life I've believed that my work reflected me. It all started in school, when I was graded on everything: papers, hand writing, art work and even, how I threw a football.
The school doesn't explicitly say that the work is a direct reflection of a student, but the system implies it very much. As a child, my identity was built on how I compared with others. I didn't know any other way to see myself. For most of my life, I judged myself according to the work I put out.
It took a long time to unlearn.
Whether it's photos or videos, or even blog posts, I've felt potentially embarrassed if my work isn't seen in a positive way by others.
I used to show my husband my videos before publishing them. Now I know, they're just works I've created. They actually live on their own without me.
"I'm rather kind of old school, thinking that when an artist does his work, it's no longer his... I just see what people make of it."
- David Bowie
It's not that I'm going to slack off in creating, but sometimes I find myself unnecessarily upset. 'This photo sucks! Why did I have to take it that way.' 'I can't believe I wrote like that. And so many people read it!' It's even harder to deal with mistakes that can't be fixed.
There were a few times when I created work that, according to me, was unbelievably awesome. I had no need for external confirmation. Of course, I'd love this quality of work to happen every time, but it's not going to.
It's easier now to accept all the work I do: the bad, the mediocre and the good. It has no bearing on how I see myself.