I used to look at all the other students in my art class and wonder to myself, “what am I doing here?” They were so much more talented. I was learning. I was improving. Their’s was a natural talent. I felt like I didn’t belong amongst them.
Then, I walked into Art History class. I was the teachers pet. She asked me why I wasn’t pursuing a writing career. I laughed it off. “Writing is just a hobby. Anyone can do it,” I would tell her.
My talents as a painter are decent. I practiced a lot back then. What I didn’t know is, although my painting skills were good, it wasn’t my genius. I wasn’t truly in my lane. I was sitting in that class trying to be better than people that I had no business trying to compete with. Afraid to be the worst artist in the room. Not like I was planning on having a show in anyone’s art gallery any time in the future.
What I thought of as just a hobby turns out to be the talent I should have been chasing. I found out that not everyone can write back to back novels for the fun of it. That all the stories running around in my head had a purpose. I, and my ego, were too busy being competitive in places that had nothing to do with my genius.
Even today, at work, I wanted to be the go-to, know-it-all guru. Then I remembered the scripture, well, I think its a scripture. We’ll say I heard a religious person say, “God doesn’t bless you where you don’t belong.” Its been established that I don’t belong here. Every time I sign up for a Java, C++ or Python course, I get really depressed. I can do it. I practice. I just don’t want to do it.
So let me ask, where in your life are you showing up but don’t belong? Where are you not seeing growth, or blessings? There could be a reason. You could be the square peg, and “it” could be a circle. No matter how you shift and shake, its not going to work out well. Sure, the sides will begin to dull, but the fit is still going to be an uncomfortable fit. Yet, somehow, we pretend it’s not that uncomfortable.
How do you get to the truth? How do you stop ignoring signs that are pointing, screaming and ready to knock you over to get your attention? How do you stop telling yourself that you are stuck?
You make a choice.
Too simple, I know. And because it is so simple, it scares us. It requires us to take responsibility for ourselves. And trust me, I understand the fear in that. I don’t want to stand in the mirror and admit that the last 15 years are my fault. I want it to be someone else’s responsibility. I proudly gave my speech blaming the system. That no one gave me a chance. I boldly said, “I did everything right!”
The system, the unfair world…you know what? That simple fix is also what got me into a life that was not fulfilling. We have been making choices this entire time. I made the choice to settle. So, technically, I have been responsible for where I am today. If I choose safe or if I choose writing, I am responsible.
I am responsible for how I react to obstacles. I am responsible for deciding if I want to stay miserable or go on an adventure. Sure, I have obligations and a teenage son to consider. Those things aren’t stopping me.
Are you looking at your obligations as excuses? That is a choice. You don’t need permission to make a different choice. You get to chose what is best for you. You. Are. Responsible.
And, you are so worth it!