It’s late at night, and I’ve been twisting and turning for hours. Why do I want to do it? Should I do something else instead? What will people think about it? I’m such an idiot.

Rumination sometimes leads to inaction, but more often it leads me to an intense desire to redo my actions. It’s like this urge to paint over the canvas before it dries, because I just can’t let my painting sit like that. Sometimes, I take it as a good sign that I’m growing. Other times, I wonder how traumatized I must be to not be able to face my own work.

When I first started blogging, I had a hard time re-reading my posts. I just wanted to tap “Publish” and start a new page. It was easy to do that. Then I started creating videos, and it got worse. I just could not watch a second of my video after I published it. Ironic, isn’t it? If I’m posting something, I can’t be embarrassed about it; otherwise, why the hell would I post it?

I always hoped that my skills would level up to that of my creative eye. To match my creation with my expectation. Both are in constant flux, but my eye seems to change faster than my skills can keep up with. It’s like when you try to draw a face, as an untrained artist. You can see how it’s supposed to look, you can even picture it in your head when you’re not actively looking at it. But when you lean your head back to get a good look at your drawing, it looks awfully unproportional. The eyes are too big, the nose is not right, and it doesn’t resemble the actual face at all. You may know how it’s supposed to look, but your skills deceive you by penning only the most memorable parts of a face and leaving out the rest.

I’m not mad about this dissonance. If anything, it forces me to write more, create more, and post more. I want to receive praises and criticisms — I take them all. Not because it will change what I ultimately create, but because I know I’ll grow immune to them. They might signal validation (or lack thereof) of my work, but the only criticism that matters is that of mine. If I can stop listening to others’ criticisms, then maybe there’s a chance I’ll grow more resilient to mine.

1 Comment

  1. “A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music…”

    https://poets.org/poem/everyday-enchantment-music

    Your post reminded me of this poem by Mark Strand. The poem talks about music standing still in the home of a heart in trouble. And then of thunder, but no matter how bad it is, that too eventually becomes music.

    A lot of great art is born of troubled hearts. At least that’s my interpretation and belief.

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