Frustration is something that has always come quickly to me, frustration at myself that is. I guess it is borne out of a deep seated and long held belief that I am not intelligent, creative or talented enough. This uncomfortable emotion has often arisen when I’ve felt not knowledgeable or thoughtful enough to have foreseen the outcome of every decision I’ve made or to have predicted my disappointment in the result of a creative project. I do believe that the education system has changed since I was a child, and that children are now helped to understand that undesired and unpredicted outcomes should not be a catalyst for shame, but a platform from which to build upon, I rather wish it hadn’t taken me so long to pick up though.
Running my own business and using some of the many, many digital resources available to help do so has seen me learn many new skills; I have often experienced huge frustration in the process of doing so and M has, in the past, asked me whether it’s all worth it. The gnashing of teeth and wailing at the screen in front of me have been painful to witness I think, but to answer his question I’d have to say yes, it has been worthwhile.
My determination to master new skills has brought with it an understanding that the feelings of inadequacy and failure are all simply part of the process. The botched photos, the unfinished projects, the unread blog posts; they all offer me an opportunity to reflect and ask myself how I could improve, to question whether it’s practice I need, resources I should seek or advice and tuition I should ask for.
As this year speeds along at an alarming pace and the beginning of my degree studies feels ever closer it is natural I think to feel a little trepidatious; that unsupportive voice in my head chirrups away asking me who I think I am to be attempting something so outrageously creative, the voice which whispers that I should be happy with my lot, that I have no ‘need’ to strive further and should content myself with what I have already achieved. But it’s not what I want in my heart of hearts. I’ve spent my life being in others ‘service’ in one way or another – a nurse, a secretary, admin assistant, wife, mother, workshop host etc. I neither regret nor begrudge any of it (well, there may have been moments!) but it’s time to move onwards.
What I vaguely dare to dream of in some slightly fantastic detached way is of pursuing the curiosities that ignite my mind and to accept permission to explore them, to observe, to learn, to record and to share them. It begins to feel self indulgent when I write it like this for I don’t have any particular world changing motivation. I am certainly interested in current affairs and the state of our world, but I’m not a campaigner so that isn’t my purpose. I think I simply hope to inspire and to invite questions – is that enough?
Whatever, I am beginning to believe that I have, at the very least, the right mindset with which to embark upon this next part of my life; I am open minded as to the outcome, I am thirsty to learn and I am more able than ever before to recognise that as I feel the caustic bubbling of frustration within me I simply need to take a deep breath, give myself a little credit where it’s due and work out what to do next!