What does it really mean to ‘re-start’ a creative journey? If like me, you’ve thrown yourself into the deep end and sunk, more than once, there’s likely to be a great big question mark against trying again. After many years, I’ve finally come to realise that this damn question mark is acting as your ego’s gatekeeper and IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY. So, stuff it. Get over it, because, really, who cares if you’ve been harbouring dreams for most of your life if you never actually do anything with them? On the other hand, trying and failing is a tried and true part of the learning process. The second thing is to accept and allow the gestalt of life’s experience, however long or short that time might be, to inform the decision to throw yourself once more into those murky and mysterious waters. Be kind to yourself but brave. Listen for the voice that urges ‘now’ rather than the one that is the sound of your fears.
And take the leap, dig your toes in, whatever damn analogy works — even good old Nike’s “Just Do It”.
For me, the realisation that it really doesn’t matter how many times I jumped, so long as I did, is expressed by the word “kickstart” and I’m not referring to the online funding platform but to those ye olde days of classic motorcycles, (that is pre mid-70’s before the electric start made it all sooo easy), when in order to get your ride on, you had to combine timing, vigour, focus and badass kicking arc. You can’t get that beast started, let alone barreling along the road with the wind in your face, if you don’t commit with everything you’ve got.
And I readily admit this focus is what I’ve been missing – since, well, forever. I’ve always held back. I have never in all honesty had absolute commitment to my own arc.
Now, this is not going to be a post that includes ‘should’ve or could’ve’. Those are unhealthy attitudes for anyone and especially someone like myself who appears to have missed out on the ‘push back’ gene – the one that gives the psyche a cue that now is the time to draw a line in the sand. What I’m trying to say is that I’m good at defending other people’s personal spaces but not my own, and this is a catastrophe for someone who has a deep creative well spring. The result is an emotional dam and the older you get, the more it has to hold back.
So, when the time arrives when disappointment in yourself becomes a major focus of your thought process, it’s past-time to take a good long look and consider whether you really do want to get that ride on.
And I do — want to get it on.
This analogy works for me in another way too. You see, I haven’t forgotten what it feels like to have an over-compressed kick lever smack back on your calf with enough force to leave you hobbling for days. It bloody hurts, but you grit your teeth, wait, breathe, and commit again. And after a while — after much sweat and swearing — you begin to get it just right until it seems easy every time.
Itty bitty pushes simply do not work when you’ve got a big engine to start. So this is me, standing on the kick lever and committing to the arc.