NWoNFT: growing pains
Lately I’ve been struggling with trying to make life happen while life is happening. Wait, what? Yeah… Here comes the rant...
I’m confused. They say life is what you make it, to make a life, not just a living. How can I do that when life keeps deciding to happen on its own terms beyond my control? A whole lot of life happened this past month. It’s hard to talk about finding motivation and the creative process when I’m not motivated and there is no process. I’ve been told to channel my emotions and hardships into my work. While I do feel like the work I’m most proud of was produced at some of my lowest moments, I don’t exactly think that’s cool. Yes, I love the thought of having a deeper piece of my psyche hardened in the acrylic paint on the canvas in the corner, a reminder that I’m human and experiencing the good, bad and ugly. But what gives? Can’t I be happy AND creative? What a shitty trade off. To avoid too many details and therapy with virtual strangers, I’ll just say this past month was tough and left me on a low note for most of it. The only assignment I could remotely tap into was to find intention.
To find something new, try something new. It’s that simple. I tried a new cafe a few times. To my delight, I found a couple of new favorites and some great new people-watching spots. I found new breakfast options and I found new habits. Most importantly, I found some more self-discipline. I figured, if life is going to happen as it wants, I’ll make happen that which I can. It starts with the self.
I’ve found that there simply aren’t enough hours in a day what with primal human needs being a thing. If we didn’t need sleep or food or to babysit our bladders (especially me, I drink a lot of water) we’d have way more time to figure ourselves out. But no, we need sustenance. We need to wash our parts and make sure we look well enough to step out of the house without scaring anyone off. We require nourishment, most of which nowadays is modified or saturated in crap that makes us also have to worry about where it goes, or sweat enough afterward to distribute it evenly. We have to let our subconscious mess us up for a third of the day, too? I mean, come on… how unfair.
Okay, I’m done whining, because the fact of the matter is, I can’t do anything about any of it. I have to figure out how to be productive and live a fulfilling lifestyle with the same amount of hours Oprah and Dwayne Johnson do. Actually, maybe not the latter. That beast doesn’t sleep. I digress.
How I managed an extra ounce of self-discipline:
Instead of waking up at 8:01, I got up at 6:33 a number of days. There’s no arguing how much more productive those early days turned out versus the regular ones. Plus, it feels nice to establish some sort of morning routine that feels healthy and gets my gears cranking. It has made everything feel new in a way. Ah, yes, a new routine. One that is refreshing and nurtures the creative process because I had more quiet to think and more time to do. Don’t even get me started on that gorgeous golden morning glow that sets in at no other time of day. (insert heart-eyed emoji) It really helps me start the day in a good, tranquil mood. Does this mean I’m growing up? Clearly not after the opening rant, and let’s face it, I’ll probably still have many days of being a slug. That’s fine. It does, however, mean I’m learning how to make the most of time. I now know what I can do to feel unstuck. Sure, I need sleep, but not ten hours of it. Waking up a little earlier makes a tremendous difference.
It’s funny. This tiny step in the right direction has taken a great deal of trial and error. For a good while I would beat myself up if I woke up later than I wanted to or if I got up on time but didn’t tackle my to-do list. After weeks of what I thought were failed attempts, I suspected there was a more deeply rooted issue pressing my insides. It’s not logical to throw in the towel for not revamping my entire existence overnight. How is it failure if I didn’t manage to change the world on a Tuesday morning before lunch time? What's really the deal?
I think I figured it out: Fear. Ohhh, that bish. The bane of artistry. The reason so many ideas don’t make it onto paper. Why most people don’t challenge familiar territory. What separates the good from great. So much power in one perishable human frame, but so much fear to subdue it until the expiration date. So, what happens? I set some goals. I try and I fail. I try and I fail. I try and I fail. I reach a point where I can decide if I’ll let that fear let me settle for failure. That’s what I’ve learned this month. I won’t. I can’t. I learned that fear can motivate me if I don’t let it block me first. That’s the trick. That’s my message to you, dear reader. Take that fear and tell it to kick rocks. And try catching a sunrise from time to time. Wake your soul with the sun.
Nisalda was born in Brooklyn, NY to Dominican parents and raised in the cow fields and woods of central Florida. Her interests include acting, music, nature, art, travel and world culture. Currently based in Los Angeles, follow this late bloomer and her adventures at: