6/20/07

a hesitant post

I hesitate to write because honestly I don't want to whine and complain. I have more judges in my own head than there are in the world. I tell myself I shouldn't feel the way I do. That I am just pathetic. Why? Because I can't seem to handle the things I used to. Believe me, I've cleaned my share of toilets. I've delivered pizzas. I've done my share of grunt work in life. I lucked out big time with being a massage therapist. If it didn't completely tear my body up I would be doing that part time to make ends meet.

Last night was my first taxi drive. Its Vermont. At night, its blacker than the bottom of the ocean because there aren't big highway lights or any street lights. I had to drive to the airport to pick someone up. I had to stand there holding a sign for the ride....and watch everyone look at me and glance through me or show a bemused 'oh isn't that quaint' look as my piece of paper with the local taxi service on it quivered under my heart thudding grasp.

I could make this a long, humorous post. I don't feel like it. I don't feel humorous. It isn't funny to me to listen to an educated man (who by the way sat in front with me instead of in back so that was even more stressful) go on for almost 10 miles about the WEATHER. I switched the conversation to me and art because I couldn't stand the small talk. I knew he thought I was a nothing. And I could tell he didn't want to know about me. So I listened to him talk the entire 45 mi. in his barely audible voice. It was raining, foggy and pitch dark. Aside from having to concentrate to his babble, aside from driving a van, I had to find the place he was staying at and the pressure was building. I was grasping the steering wheel so tightly my arms were going numb. I finally told him it was my first drive....and I nervously laughed and said I hope I can find the place. I drove slower and slower trying to let my twitching vision calm down. My head just kept screaming to stop. Pull over and just say I can't do this. I felt angry that before I got the call I was just about ready to start a new piece now that I have finished that commissioned piece. So my night disappeared from me. From 5:45 to midnight.

I realize that panic attacks, poverty, and aging are catching up with me and I don't have the resiliency I once had. All of these factors really do take away confidence. I am angry that I seem to have no confidence most of the time. What happened to my power? I also realize I really am an artist. An honest to god serious artist. I do not have whatever it takes anymore to deal with something that takes me away from my time with art. That's when the judges come in and tell me how 'soft' I am. That anyone who reads this will judge me and think I am being a baby. A wimp. A wuss. Well maybe I am.

I feel defeated and overwhelmed right now.

7 comments:

Daphne said...

You aren't whining. You sound tired and overwhelmed.

And I used to hear my aunt talk about how she had no time for her art and now I am in the same position at times as well.

Artists will understand what you mean. The rest, well, probably not.

I have a problem with anxiety and you certainly sound like it's causing problems for you. I find that I need to get a consistent nights sleep among other things to quiet the fear...

BlueJude said...

I think you're being awfully hard on yourself. Take some time...treat yourself as a good friend would. This too shall pass.

Misplaced said...

I know exactly what you're talking about - Your description og the panic setting in is dead on. I used to get them and then would get pissed at myself- for feeling the fear. The worse is when I would get a panic attack by worrying whether or not I would get a panic attack. Panic attacks aren't the norm- they are being caused by something- you may want to see a doctor about them- your life shouldn't be ruled by panic.

self taught artist said...

thanks misplaced, I do have someone helping me with this. Honeslty, I know its me and life. Face to face.

Nellie's Needles said...

Sheesh! I hope that passenger from hell on this nightmare ride gave you a decent tip. If he had sat in the back where he belonged, you may have had a chance. If I were your passenger, I would not be offended if you excused yourself from conversation by stating that it was necessary for you to concentrate on your driving.
Will be there be a next time?

Clare said...

I just left a comment on your post about 'how to get happy -- quit a job that makes you squirm' but I also wanted to leave one here too. Just to say I'm sending big hugs. Your instincts about what you need seem right on as far as more time to do art and less time to do things that just eat away at your energy and confidence. Allow your spirit (not the judges in your head) to guide you and you will soar.

Tori said...

You are not a wimp, wuss, or whining....YOU ARE a women who knows herself!!!!