After the flurry of progress stated in previous posts, the bottom has dropped out and I feel defeated and at a dead end. You would think after my biggest fear was addressed by God that I would be at ease and relaxed about still being in the desert after eight months, but you would be wrong. I’m miserable. I’ve lost a lot of ground emotionally since that one step forward last month. By my guess I’ve went back easily fifteen steps…
EDIT: I wanted to make clear that this art hiatus has nothing to do with the teaching side of things. What I talk about in this blog post is about me creating artwork, not teaching it. I am very thankful that God has grown my teaching business these last couple of years and am very appreciative to all the parents who signed up for my classes. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear in this blog post, these are really two separate things. I will not stop teaching and enjoy doing it!
I’m physically and emotionally drained. I’m not understanding what I need to do, don’t know how to change behaviors I’ve had since before becoming a Christian, and I’ve been terrible at “sensing” God. Whatever it is I’m suppose to learn to get out of the desert is not sinking in and I’m flailing in the meantime.
Remember the author (Simcha Natan) of that quote and book I keep coming back to? I emailed her directly. She’s fantastic in responding to emails and probably the closest to someone who went through what I’m going through. I laid things out and ultimately we ended the conversation with her telling me, “Sounds to me like you haven’t understood that the gift of Art isn’t yours. It’s his. He gave it to you, he can take it away. If he wants you to create, he will provide the spark. You’re relying on your own creativity more than his!”, along with several other points.
I thanked her and said I have a lot to think about and moved on. Days later I shared this email thread with a good friend of mine, who also agreed with Simcha’s points and added her own to the list. For several hours after everything was said, I’m sitting in my car waiting for my next class to begin and decided that I’m done. I’m tired of trying to figure this out. God will have to move mountains to get me to the next step. From now on I’m on auto pilot and will do the bare minimum while in this desert experience.
I just don’t have it in me anymore. The energy I had to learn through this experience early on is now gone. Zero motivation. I don’t know how to change decades old thinking and stubborn behavior. I’ve learned a lot being in the desert, but I’m just not feeling it anymore to continue figuring it out. I’m back to horrible sleep and my head is constantly turning with thought. My depression is back hard core and I just want to stare off into space and do nothing. I’ve lived without peace in my heart and mind for so long now, I’m no closer to finding that as I am a way out of this damn desert.
It’s incredibly difficult to not think of this art hiatus as a punishment but I’m accepting my fate that the gift that God gave me has been taken away, and I’m just going to have to live with it and move on. The only annoyance is I’ll be constantly reminded of all this every single time I teach a class.
Let me be clear that I’m not stepping away from God, I’m just done trying to figure out this Rubik’s Cube. I’m drained. I’ll teach my classes because that’s the path I’m suppose to be on. I’ll sit in the desert and have no contentment or peace in the experience. I have no optimism that I’ll ever get out at this point, so might as well make a home there.
Despite being told one day I’ll return to making comics or any other art, due to my current mindset, I assume it won’t be for decades. I’m going to pack up the rest of my art table and throw it in a closet where I can’t see it because all it’s doing is taking up space and reminding me of something I no longer can do. If my son wants to use the art materials one day they’re his.
From now on I’m going to pretend I’m not an artist and move on with my life. I really wish God didn’t tell me one day I’ll return to making comics, because ever since then I’ve back slid so badly that my mind is not in a good place because of it. I. Am. Done.
I pray that God strengthens my faith, because I can’t do this anymore. Tired of flailing. Tired of not making progress. Tired of back sliding. Any prayers you can give me are appreciated. I’ll let you know if anything changes but this will probably be the last post about it for quite some time.
EDIT: Nope, here’s Part Seven in this ongoing saga.
Thanks for reading.