“Shame is all about fear. We’re afraid that people won’t like us if they know the truth about how we are, where we’re from, what we believe, how much we’re struggling, or, believe it or not, how wonderful we are when soaring (sometimes it’s just as hard to own our strengths as our struggles).” -Brené Brown The Gifts of Imperfection
In May 2015 we decided that I was going to quit my job.
I had spent 3 years teaching in CPS (Chicago Public Schools) as a High School English and Drama teacher, and I absolutely hated most of it.
When I talked it over with Dennis, pondering to myself what I might do with an Education and Acting degree when I no longer wanted to teach or act, he suggested that I come work with him at D’Flo Productions.
The issue? Well, in my mind, there were a few:
- I did not go to school for business management, marketing, graphic design, or film editing. I had zero training for this new job.
- There were a whole host of people who I thought would be disappointed that I quit teaching.
- I also had no idea how to explain my new job to people. (I still don’t exactly know how to do this).
To be perfectly honest, this entire year so far–from June 2015 until today– has been one huge trial and error process, and it’s scary to admit that to people.
The question “Am I enough?” posed in Dennis’ song entitled All I have to Give really hits home during this season.
You can listen to the song on SoundCloud, but let me share with you some of the most meaningful (to me) lyrics:
Doubt: it’s creeping beneath my skin, eating the outside in,
into a fear that I have never known…
This is all I have to give? Is it enough? Am I enough?
What I have learned so far with living life as a full-time artist is that doubt kills creativity and breeds a crippling kind of fear that doesn’t allow me to get any work done.
Each time I sit down with my paints, or with Adobe Illustrator, stand behind the camera, or hover over the “publish” button, I ask this question: “Is it enough?“.
And then I ask, “Am I enough?” Because, like most human beings, my identity and self-worth often gets tangled up in my work.
Since June, I have gotten much better at describing what I do for a living. Heck, since this past Thanksgiving, things have gotten a lot clearer.
But there are days when I question all that I’m doing. There are days when it takes me longer than I think it should to complete a Photoshop edit, or when my well-meaning and wonderful mom calls and mentions that I should reconsider teaching in another district. There are days when the fear of failure or judgement from others makes me too doubtful to even start a project. There are days when I wonder if what I have to offer will ever be enough to make our career grow in the ways we want it to.
What I have come to find is actually something seemingly different than the song describes on the surface:
I am not enough…
Find out what I mean when I say that I’m NOT enough by reading the rest of this post at Dennisflorine.com. It might not be what you expect, but it’s so true in my life!