Minding the Gap
While I have been writing and painting nearly everyday, I am finding it challenging to come here and update. It all seems so deeply personal and not very business-like. But this is at the heart of what I wanted to address during these six weeks. A deep split has evolved between my interior life and external appearances and it is throwing me off balance, both creatively and personally. I have traded deep and layered for superficial and the "love" of people I do not even know. I have settled for life on the surface to keep from being thrown out and yet, I feel as lonely and estranged as I have ever been.
This time away from the internet, repetitive, impulsive scrolling, and the constant jangling of my nervous system has revealed much about the starvation at my center. No matter how many likes or encouragement I get, it is never enough. If something didn't get the 'required' amount of likes, I often fell into despair. Ever-changing algorithms and constant input from a broad range of people determined how I felt about my work and therefore myself. I forgot the healing and deep satisfaction of creating a painting that had meaning and beauty just for me.
For me, this gap is not so much about collective social media habits (although I do not discount the effect it has on all of us). Nor am I joining the crowd of "I am out of here!" and checking out altogether. But that empty place, created out of early trauma and chaos, gets reactivated every time I open an app for validation or even just to manage my boredom or anxiety. Despite constantly wishing that it were otherwise, I am still easily tipped over, lose hope too quickly, and am overly influenced by what I imagine people want or think I ought to do.
One message I have received over and again is this: this version of my business needs to die and be reborn as something different. I need to find a better way to mind the gap.