Guilt and Art and Stuff

You know when you hate yourself and you just want to give everything up because you’re doing things different and you feel like you shouldn’t be able to? Because nothing makes you special or better than the next person who’s doing things the way everyone else does and that person is even better for it because they’re pushing through more creative blocks than you are because you actually have time? And then you feel really guilty for having that time even though it’s the one thing that you value above all else? Because you know that given enough time you can do something really neat? But you feel like you really really don’t deserve it? But you have it, so you’re not going to waste it?

Then you hate yourself because you feel like a leech, and you feel like you should require nothing, and you feel like you deserve nothing, because even though you’re working really hard on projects that do or will eventually make a lot of difference and contribute to the world in a positive way, you’re not working for a paycheck? And because you don’t have a paycheck and because you spend your time working on things you love, you feel like you don’t deserve to be able to live as fully as you want because you’re…doing it differently?

And deep down inside you KNOW it’s bullshit, because art is important and artists deserve to be able to live, fully, and spend their time making art and contributing to the world – but no one really seems into that and it’s crushing?

So then you launch a campaign that lets you get monthly donations so you CAN make art and live fully, and then you just feel crushingly guilty and undeserving and worthless and don’t even know how much you should tell people about it because you can think of so many people who are working at jobs and still creating and what makes you so special or worthy anyway? Why should people donate to your art when there’s other art?

So you just go hide under blankets for the rest of the day. You know that feeling?

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3 thoughts on “Guilt and Art and Stuff

  1. I had a stroke recently. I’m only in my 30’s and it was very unexpected. And in the weeks that followed, all my friends and coworkers put together piles of cash for my family to help us cope with everything from missing work to prescriptions to bills and even food from takeout restaurants to ease our stresses.

    A day doesn’t go by that I don’t feel incredibly guilty taking their money. I’m trying to think of a good way to thank everyone, but i can hardly walk and my energy is so low its difficult to imagine even getting thank-you cards out.

    And while I am weighted down with guilt, at the same time I have to remind myself that giving my family money made each of those people feel like they had done something to help us during this traumatic situation. And people want to help. It makes them feel good to help, just like it helps my family that they helped.

    So try not to let the guilt get you too bad. People will only donate to you if they want to help you and your causes. I think you’ve created a space for people to heal, and that is huge. You should try to feel proud of yourself, you deserve it.

  2. My favorite blanket is wool with blocky birds? butterfies? people? all around the edges, and a pair of Macaws in the middle. Which makes me think of Mayan myths and is therefore happy.

    I found it by the side of the road one day, scattered with some trash. Its heavy like a death sentence, and.

    When I am under it.

    Nothing can get me.

    You hide as much as you need. You are awesome. You will come out when its time, you butterfly-bird-person you. 🙂

  3. Yes, I do feel that way. But it’s a stupid way to feel and I’m trying to get over it 🙂

    After all, when I donate to a cause or even do a favor for a friend, I don’t think they feel that way, nor do I think they should.

    Feel better!