The lies we tell ourselves about ourselves | SHW #8
I’ve been lying to myself for a very long time.
Four years ago, I began teaching myself how to draw, and I fell in love. For the first time in a long time, I felt completely free to express myself creatively.
I’ve considered myself a technical, logical thinker for most of my life. I was good at math and science. I decided to major in Computer Science in school and work professionally as a Software Engineer.
But there was always something that burned deep inside me that wanted more.
I wanted to go my own way and do my own thing. I wanted to express myself freely. Art found me at the perfect time.
But then, I boxed myself in once again.
I thought “Oh, I love drawing and creating! Maybe this is my ticket out of soul-sucking job.”
I’ve been trying to turn art into my job for years now, telling myself forcefully that this was the way to go. Watching what other artists were doing and trying to re-create their success.
But the truth is, that’s never what I wanted.
I love creating. I love all sorts of creating. Not just art, but also music and writing. I love following whatever I have the energy for in the moment.
But still, I kept lying to myself. I kept telling myself that art was it. All I wanted to do was draw and turn that into a business.
Recently, I finally caught onto myself. I realized that I had been lying to myself and had deeper desires.
What I really wanted was to create, using whatever media felt right to me in the moment and share the experience with others.
It’s quite simple, but I didn’t want to believe it.
Because I didn’t trust that I had anything valuable to offer.
Who would want to hear from me? Who would want to consume all of these things I’ve created?
I’m not Picasso or Mozart or Hemingway. Why would anyone want to consume my mediocre art?
Recently, I discovered the phenomenon and practice of Human Design. If you’re not familiar with Human Design, it’s essentially a system designed to help you move through life and make decisions that are appropriate for you.
You can read more about it here if you want to go deeper.
I have no idea if any of this is real or complete bullshit. No one can really know, but I don’t exactly care.
All I know is that after learning about my design, I have never felt more seen in my entire life. So many things that used to confuse the crap out of me about myself suddenly made sense.
I am a 3/6 emotional generator. This sums up what that means for me:
- I get the best results out of life when I follow my gut and do the things I feel I have the most energy for.
- Emotionally, I experience high highs and low lows, and that’s totally normal. My highs are times where I can revel in the beauty of life. My lows are times for me to turn inward and express myself.
- I interact with the world around me through trial and error. I’m meant to play around with lots of things and use failure as my compass.
- I harbor a lot of wisdom from my experiences and will find the most fulfillment in life by sharing what I learn with others.
When I learned all these things about myself, I felt like I was finally able to face who I really was. All of my weird tendencies and desires that didn’t seem to fit societal norms all of a sudden made sense!
It was completely normal for me to have extreme, guttural reactions to situations in my life.
It was completely normal for me to follow the things I had energy for and leave the things that drained my energy behind.
It was completely normal for me to try lots of things, bounce around, and fail a lot.
It was completely normal for me to want to share everything I’ve experienced with other people.
Finally, I was able to tell the truth about myself to myself.
Things are going to get a little weird around here. I’m still going to be drawing and sharing my artwork, but I also want to share all of the other things that come along with my creative practice.
Drawing for me has been so much more than a technical skill I’ve developed.
It’s brought up so many other things, such as my perfectionism, my tendency to compare myself to others, and my feelings that I’ll never be good enough.
I’m scared shitless to be visible and be seen for who I really am. I’ve spent most of my life blending in and hiding away.
But I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t care how I’m perceived or how silly I may look.
I have all of these gifts and intricacies about my personality for a reason. I’m going to wear them proudly and share them with the world.
I plan to jump back in to writing weekly about my experiences. My hunch is that I’m not as weird as I feel, and that, if you’re reading this, we have a lot in common.
I have no idea where this will take me, but I’m excited to see where it goes! I hope you can find some value, joy, and peace in the words I share moving forward.