Be Happy With The Journey

I think I’m in a slump. I’m pretty sure I am. I’ve reached a point in the career where if I’m asked “What’s your next project/gig?”, I answer “I don’t know” with more worry than enthusiasm. Everyone thinks I’m working so it’s hard to get work. Everyone thinks I’m so in demand that no one is asking for me. Or maybe it’s just a slump.

I hope it is because I’d like to push through, rise up again and finally understand why I needed the slump.

But what if it isn’t just a slump. What if it’s the end of the ride. What if I leapt too soon. What if I made it look so easy that now everyone just “knows” I can get up… without help.

In comic books, every time Superman gets in a fight, a crowd forms. They stay just far enough to get a good look but not be in immediate danger. Because in their heads, “Supes got this. We’d just be holding him back if we jumped in.”

I’m not trying to compare myself to Superman at all. And maybe that’s why it feels like it’s more than a slump.

I’ve been told that I do a great job. I’ve been told that the people that hire me are happy. I’ve seen the smiles and they feel genuine. But then there is a flash of uncertainty. What if I’m so vile, rude and crazy that people who work with me warn, “just be nice and let him pass through the weekend.” What if I’m actually a terrible person who does well enough to put up with but not strong enough to keep calling.

That’s the wallpaper inside the slump.

How you look at the past can frame how you will envision your future. If I look at the last couple of years as hard work finally (it’s about damn time) paying off, then I’m framing my career as inevitable. Unquestionable. I’m the reason I am where I’m at. I’m owed this. But I feel like there’s a mist of bitterness and anger in that frame.

If I look at the last couple of years as a blessing. I’m grateful for everything. I didn’t think this was possible. I can’t believe how lucky I really am. Well… the problem now is I’d be giving the mysteries of the universe and fate credit for my hard work. And honestly, why would you pursue a career like this if you didn’t think any of it was possible.

How I’m trying to look at it is knowing that a slump happens. It happens to every successful person. More slumps than victories throughout a career. That’s what gives a person drive. The slump isn’t personal. It’s not you. It’s business. I am good at what I do and I’m a good enough person to keep hiring when my name pops up. I was wearing myself down for a few years. I was spinning too many plates and a few came crashing down together. A few gigs got tangled up in all the strings I cast out and I had to cut the cord without knowing if I’ll ever get that fish again.

But I’m allowing myself to be happy with this part of the journey. In this slump, I’m taking a moment to see what I’m neglecting. Take time to examine what I need to stay positive. Declutter my creative space.

I’ve saved for the slump. I prepared myself financially for the slump. I need to fall in love with my thoughts again.

Or I’m just going insane and the outcome will erase the last line of politeness I’m carrying around. The fear of failure and the desire for success end up dissipating around the same time and I start living the rest of what life I have with a need to keep myself laughing more than anything.

Don’t worry. Right now, I’m only focused on figuring out how to get out of this slump.

« « The First Laugh | The Love Letter I Should Have Sent » »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *