“Something in me, dark and sticky” ~ Peter Gabriel
There is nothing greater in this life than to be what you were made to be. Feeling the tug? Want to break free from the drudge and living for someone else’s dream? I say wholeheartedly: Yes, you can and yes … there’s nothing better.
There is a price, and some of that price is guilt. Let me unburden, if you please.
Aside: unburden. That’s kind of funny. It implies that once I lay this down to you, I won’t carry it around anymore. Nope. As soon as I fill your ears it’s going right back on my shoulders. Such is me: I can’t let things go.
I’ve achieved success in my work. Success to me means the ability to not only support myself and my family with my art and my craft, but to reach out and help those who need it. It’s important to me and it feels good. It feels great. I work hard at what I do. I do the work because I love it. I want others to feel this amazing thing, too.
With the success came recognition: a minor sort of fame. Interrupted dinners in public. Unwanted advances, suspicious new ‘friends’. That felt good for a while, too, until it burned me a few times. Listen to this, because this is a hard lesson I’m still learning. Fame isn’t worth it. It becomes … tolerable, if you really love what you do. (And I really do love what I do). Sadly, it can make you instantly suspicious of even close friends. There’s the very real probability of unwarranted jealousy on the part of your loved ones, who (rightly) expect your time with them to be sacred. Watch your ego, I constantly remind myself. It can really tear things down quickly.
I know it’s a bit rambling this time, such are my thoughts.
Point is: even when you work hard … for decades, even. When you work until your throat is raw and your fingers can’t feel … when you take the stage with a kidney stone tearing its merry way through you because the show MUST go on … achieving the success can bring feelings of guilt. I’ve heard:
“It came to easy for you.”
“You don’t charge enough and you’re undercutting everyone.”
“You charge too much and you’re making the rest of us look cheap.”
I get accused of being a diva and of being ‘moody’, sometimes. Sorry folks: sometimes I get too deep in my own head.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Guilt.
I’ll deal with it. I’m still carrying it, even when I know I’ve not done anything wrong. I’ll bear it, grinning or not. Perhaps a good story will come from it.
In the end, that’s why I’m here. This is what I was made for. To tell my stories and do magic tricks.
Regarding those things: I have no guilt and there will be no apologies.