I was screaming at the top of my lungs at the car in front of me. I had been sitting in my car, trapped, for an hour and a half and I had gone 10 miles. I still had 10 more to go. I shut the music off out of spite, as if that affects anyone but me. “What is wrong with everyone. Just move!” I yelled, with a slew of derogatory remarks. I started punching my steering wheel. This happened every day, twice.
The truth is I was miserable, but I thought that was normal. I thought this is how the world was. It was all about waking up, going to work, coming home to eat dinner, followed by hours of watching TV. The weekends were for going to the bar, sometimes cleaning, but mostly Netflix marathons.
So, I went through the motions. I stayed monotonously busy.
I formed this hard, outer shell and I didn’t let anyone in. I thought I was protecting myself. It was like I could see myself self destructing but I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it. kept moving to new places and bouncing from job to job, thinking they were the problem.
I felt like I had no purpose. Like, nothing I was doing really mattered. But the problem wasn’t them. It was me.
Traffic is not going to move faster just because I want it to. Nobody is going to walk up and give me a Billion dollars so I don’t have to work every day. If I wanted to do something for myself, to start something that was bigger than just going to work everyday, I had to do it.
I decided to change the way I thought about and did things.
I started keeping a book, a sketchbook, a pencil, and an eraser in my car. If I got stuck in traffic (not moving, car in park, kinds of traffic) I would sketch something really quick. I would race to draw something before traffic started moving again.
I started to see things differently.
Instead of staying busy with things that didn’t matter to me, I chose to do things that would make me feel good. So I explored things I was interested in. I went to the library a lot.
I tried new things constantly.
I read books. I painted. I joined an art trading group. I started a website. I decided to take some classes to learn something I wanted to know more about, graphic design. I started running outside again. I joined a gym. I made small, simple choices everyday. The only stipulation was any choice I made had to make me happy. If it didn’t, I didn’t do it.
Seven years later I don’t have everything figured out.
Nobody ever does. But I am living, my life, the way I want to. I have achieved things I never thought I would, my first art show, a TV interview, acceptance into an art gallery. It didn’t all happen at once. It’s been seven years. I still have a long way to go. But, I’m happier than I was seven years ago. Which is all that really matters.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.