To stay the course or to change streams?

I’ve had a stream-change hangover since stopping painting, but it’s not at all about missing it, or wanting to paint. It is 100% habit driven. I have lost count of all the times I have vowed to up-level my art career, only to fall back into the habit of self-doubt and sabotage. It’s awful, yet essential to admit this, not only to myself but to those around me.

But now, I have zero regrets after walking away from painting. I worked as an artist for over 20 years on and off and made a good living at it. I’ve made the decision to leave that part of my career and concentrate on my writing, and it feels right.

The hangover is simply the necessity; my drive for certainty wants me to take the road most traveled. Do what you’ve always done, it whispers.

Back off bitch.

I know that I’m on the right path because the writing makes me feel good. Alive. Joyful.

I love the daily act of writing, easily hitting my goal of 2000 words a day. The thing I need to push through right now is that habit of being lazy, self-sabotaging and then making excuses.

I need to break the habit of being me, as Dr. Joe Dispenza puts it!

To stop asking myself “who am I to write a book?” or “who is going to want to read what I write?”

The hangover that’s been haunting me has been the shadow of all these past ‘failures‘ asking me if this is just another one…another time where I quit painting only to return penitent at a later date to try again.

Today, my sister introduced me to the term Sunk cost fallacy. This refers to the refusal to move on from a career, relationship or other life situation due to the time, effort or money already ‘sunk’ into the endeavour. I have sunk a lot of all three into my painting career and see this fallacy for the cheeky bugger it is.

The truth is, I can’t even imagine a time when I will want to paint again, even for the fun of it. I still love to talk about art, to mentor young artists, to visit museums, read about art, write about it…but I have zero interest in picking up a paintbrush. This isn’t said in a negative way and that’s how I know it’s real. I love all of the above aspects of art, but I am completely indifferent to the idea of painting myself.

Indifference is the true opposite of love, not hate! 

So now I stay the course. I’ve set my goals and move daily towards them. Sometimes it’s baby steps and sometimes I surprise myself and make a leap.

We owe it to ourselves to follow through on our dreams, and as we bring our gifts out into the world we give others permission to do so as well.