(upon making a life/career in the arts and/or entertainment realm)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Who do you let determine that for you? When do you actually feel like you’ve achieved something? When your parents say they’re proud or when you have a certain dollar amount in your savings? Once you’ve tackled that one thing you’ve always wanted to touch, what happens then? If you are constantly running up to a new peak, at what point do you think you’ve actually made it somewhere? When are you satisfied?
WHEN IS OUR WORK RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT?
When it is just the regurgitation of what is most commonly agreed upon and accepted? When it appeals to current fads and popular culture? When it arrives as a reactionary eye roll and is too progressive and challenging for the majority to enjoy? When the work is not appreciated until after you are gone? Do you need to push or do you need to appease? Can you be an artist who reaches many people while still stuck in your own ingrained habits of esoteric elitism?
WHEN IS OUR WORK VALID?
While we create it or only once it is shown? When it is seen and liked by many? When it is seen and disliked by many? When it’s published in that particular place, put on display in that high trafficked corner, awarded that coveted seal of completion and approval?
WHEN IS OUR WORK “GOOD?”
When it shows up on trending lists all around the fake universes we’ve created with our screens and clicks and swipes and keys? When it’s been reviewed or vetted by a fantasy face upon their temporary throne? When it has been bought by bravado or sold for safety?
WHEN ARE WE VALID?
When we reach a certain destination, achieve the accepted items, take after the tropes that have been created and recreated by artists of the past? When another being can look at us and proclaim “she is the real thing?” When we are hired and necessary to the plotline of someone else’s mental movie?
WHEN ARE WE “GOOD?”
When we play into the ideas and concepts that other people have of us? Who are we without our labels, our categories, our personality parameters? Without the roles we’ve been playing? What would happen if we disregarded our character limits? If a person “like that” did something that a person “like that” shouldn’t/wouldn’t typically do? Is unpredictability lauded or unappealing?
Of course, there are no set answers. There are only personal philosophies sometimes agreed upon and shared. Yet something that has been coming in very strongly lately which I believe to be quite universal is this:
if we are always looking outside the moment of the actual doing, if we are looking outside of ourselves for validation… we will always be dissatisfied.
Because the ego high we get in the temporary moments of “success” will never last long enough. It will never be enough. We will continue to chase that feeling. We will look to the next thing and then the next thing and then the next. Forever and ever and ever. It’s some mad frenzy for proof that you actually exist, that your work matters, that you actually matter.
WHAT IF YOU MATTERED just because you were were here and breathing and contributing and speaking with your voice, using your hands, sharing your particular visions regardless of the number of fans or quality reviews? If you were giving of your energy and talents whether people acknowledged it or not?
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