This morning, as I was walking to one of my local art fairs for the weekend, I came up with this idea for my postcard from my future. Rather than try to imagine a specific image of my future life, I thought about all the things I will retain from my present. Just as my past informs who I am, my present will inform my future self. I began to think about the things I want to keep in my life, the things I need to keep in my life and the things that I will probably bring along whether I like it or not.
I began to envision my life getting carved into smaller and smaller portions. It was a simultaneously hopeful and terrifying moment. I felt all of my time being filled with good things: my relationship with my husband, my art, the work that I love. At the same time, I felt all of my free time being divided between these good things, often into uneven portions. That is truly the hallmark of my life. I love a lot of things and I do them all at once and messily. Eventually, I exhaust myself as I try to do them all together.
I realized at that moment exactly who I am, whether I like it or not. I am a creative omnivore. I am constantly hungry, constantly seeking sustenance through all of the things I do. I am not one of those lucky people who finds the one thing that they want to do and then focuses intensely on that one thing until they achieve success. Instead, I have about three to four things at a time that I want to do, and I hop from one to the other, hoping that one gets done well.
On my good days, I love this about myself. I love that I am a voracious learner and an active participant in multiple areas. Unfortunately, I am not having those good days lately. I’m seeing the flip side of this voracity. I do a lot and none of it very successfully. I want the type of stability that comes with doggedly pursuing one thing. But I also want to have that stability in my work, my writing, and my personal life. That’s a lot of wanting.
I know the way out of this: I have to accept who I am. I am, and will always be, driven to pursue meaningful work, a creative practice and a strong relationship. I will not want to sacrifice one for the other. I will continue to strive, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. But hopefully, I will find satisfaction through my active pursuit.