Staying resilient as an artist during these times is f*cking hard.
“I got this” I told myself…
I woke up this morning ready to go. I was ready to take on the day.
There’s NOTHING wrong, you have your health, family, a roof over your head, and so much more to be grateful for, I thought to myself.
I had a virtual audition on the schedule, a virtual meeting with some clients, a socially distanced photoshoot, and other things on my schedule.
I got up, put on a pot of coffee, and then proceeded to watch the news and scroll through my Facebook. Little by little, my enthusiasm started to fade. I noticed, so I quickly put my phone away and changed the channel. “Not today Facebook, Not Today.”
I took a shower, put on make up, got dressed, and I just simply couldn’t get out the door. I gave myself a pep talk and got in the car to drive to my empty office. I turned in my audition late, I rescheduled a call for another day, I made it to my office past noon, and by then my motivation was gone.
I called a couple of friends to get my head clear, and then little by little, I started taking actions, even though I didn’t want to I did. Just one, then another. By the end of the day, I had accomplished a lot. But I still felt inadequate.
This keeps happening over and over. The pandemic and the political situation in our country has me unsettled. I’m a person that loves to feel grounded, I love to be in charge and create my own way. But that doesn’t seem possible in these times. How can I plan something if I don’t even know what’s going to happen?
I have figured out how to stay in action but sometimes it just doesn’t work. And the only way to stay resilient is to know that it is OK NOT TO BE.
It’s OK to cry, it’s OK to not do everything on my list, it’s OK to not do everything perfect all of the time, it’s OK to not want to do yet another zoom meeting. That is the KEY to staying sane during these times. I have found that the best thing I have done for my creative mind during the pandemic and the unrest is to give MYSELF compassion. To give me permission to be human.
This time has been filled with huge disappointments but I have stayed active. During the pandemic, I have coached several teams to run their crowdfunding campaigns, and they have all been successful. I also finished an edit on one of my projects, a documentary about DACA called My DACA Life. I have been pitching our show called I Friggin Love You and have been working on distribution for our other documentary called Our Quinceañera. I have also been pitching three projects. NONE OF IT has looked like I wanted it to look, but how could it? The world is not what we’re used to, but we can still accomplish a lot, or not. That’s the beauty of it. There are no rules, we get to create, day by day.
I think for me, the biggest obstacle has been to let go of what I thought should have happened. I had so many opportunities lined up, and now it seems like they have disappeared. But that’s not true. Opportunities have presented themselves, in different forms. When we hold on to what we thought “Should Have Been” that’s when we lose our power.
So, my fellow artist, I say to you, be kind to yourself, give yourself compassion, the entire world is going through this. I’m so excited about what the “New Normal” will bring because out of big breakdowns come big breakthroughs!
Keep your chin up. Allow yourself all the space that you need. We are all in this together and we will triumph together.