A Year of Art Progress + Getting Back on Track
Trying to set aside time to make art everyday was one of the best and most challenging goals I've set for myself. Here's a little update on how the project is coming along!
Every year on my birthday, I like to spend some time making a list of goals to accomplish for the year. I actually look forward to it so much, because I love making goals. I don’t always accomplish all of them, and that’s totally okay – some of them are dumb and silly, some of them are not really goals but just things I want to do, and then a few of them are things that I actually want to accomplish that add purpose and meaning to my life.
One of the goals that I am really excited about and actually wanted to do this year was to make art every day. I knew that this would be a challenge, but I allowed myself a little wiggle room; if I missed one day, I would just have to double up the next day and make sure I got caught up on any days that I might miss.
The project was going really well, and then about two months ago my relationship ended and I started a new job and an internship all within a 2 week span and my life got a little out of whack. I’m just starting to get back to a place that feels normal again, but as a result I have not been making my daily art. I have definitely made some art, but not with the same intention that I had before.
I should say now that this post is not about how to deal with a break up necessarily. I don't think I would be very helpful in that department anyway, mostly because this has been the best break up I've ever had. And I don't mean that in a "this is the best thing that has ever happened" kind of way, because it isn't; I'm definitely sad and I'm missing my best friend like crazy. I just mean that it has been a very respectful, drama free break up. There wasn't another person involved, and we didn't have to send our friends to collect our things, or any other awfulness that often comes along with breakups. We just have different goals right now, and that's tricky but it happens. I feel very lucky to have had a partner that hasn't turned into a total weiner now that we're not together. The way that I am dealing with my breakup is this: I was a whole person while we were dating and I'm still a whole person now that we aren't. I haven't lost who I am just because we aren't together any more, my plans have just shifted a bit. Which is getting back to the point of this post; how to get back to normal when your plans shift unexpectedly.
Figure out what your values are. In order to get your life back on track, you need to know what you want your life to look like. Spend some time thinking about what you value most in life, and how to make those a priority. For me, my main values are (in no particular order) freedom and the ability to travel, making art, taking care of myself, my relationships with friends and family, having a job where I am being helpful, collaborating with like minded individuals, and being active and in nature. In order to get my life to start feeling normal again, those are the things I need to focus on.
Be selfish and intentional with your time. If you're feeling overworked, stretched too thin and a little all over the place, practice some self care. You only have so much time, so use it in a way that nurtures your soul and aligns with your values. Self care can take many shapes and forms, if it's staying home, taking a bath and journaling, then do that. Maybe it's going out and having a blast with your best friends! Try to do at least a little bit of self care every day.
Make a list. I love making lists. Any and all lists, it doesn't matter. Even grocery lists I love! Although I also love grocery shopping which a lot of people seem to hate for some reason. Anyway. Make a list! It can be a "to do" list, or a list of goals, or whatever feels right to you. Writing down what you need, using a pen and a piece of paper and your hand, rather than typing on a screen, makes a world of difference. Something about the realness of actually writing makes it feel like the words you are writing have weight and meaning. If you write it down, then you are more likely to actually make it happen.
Embrace it. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and accept that this was meant to happen. The end of my relationship has given me more time to focus on my new job, my internship, and a lot of other really great things that I am working on. It might seem like your life has been completely de-railed, but spend some time seriously thinking about the advantages of your new situation. I guarantee you that there are several, and it will make a world of difference.
Don't beat yourself up. Everyone feels a little lost when their life changes unexpectedly. Don't be too hard on yourself about it. Maybe your routine has been broken up a bit, maybe you're not going to the gym as much as you used to or want to, but don't worry. The harder you struggle against it, the harder it's going to be to get back to a good place. Accept that you are where you are, and know that you will get back to normal. It's just going to take a little adjustment.
Do you have any other suggestions for getting back on track when life gets a little out of hand? Let me know in the comment section below!