Strong Enough

I haven’t blogged in a while. I have been so caught up in my life, working two jobs, and going crazy trying to keep up, that I haven’t had the time or focus to write. I miss writing.

Yesterday I was reading this book, called The Music Teacher. It was about this failed violinist that teaches lessons at a music store. She hangs out with the other teachers—all similarly failed musicians ,and they all sit around being cynics and exchanging anecdotes of their sad lives with their failed careers and failed marriages and what not. It was a pretty depressing book. The only thing that kept me reading was this mysterious plot line about one of their students—a teen prodigy with an odd home life that disappeared from her music lessons with no explanation.

But, anyway, one of the customers in the book remarks to the character that the store’s owner doesn’t encourage music.

“What’s wrong with that?” she replied.

The customer was flustered and explained that it would make people want to abandon their music.

She shrugged and said, “If they can do something else, they should.”

That’s how I feel about writing sometimes. If I could do something else, and not miss writing so terribly, I would. But, there will always be something drawing me back to it.

One day I hope I won’t be a broke writer anymore. Writing costs me so much. I have given up on so many other career paths to do this. I could be rich. Well, not necessarily rich, but if I had given in to other career paths years ago, I would be making really good money by now. If I had stayed on the ministry career path that I was on—I would have a very different life. But no matter what I do, no matter what opportunities come around—there is always that whining voice in my head, “But, what about my writing? I need to be able to focus on my writing.”

Right now, I don’t know if it will ever pay off. Sometimes I think it will. But, other times, I wonder if I will always one step one away from going back to some job as the “cute young thing behind the front desk.” But, my “cute young thing” days have sailed, and so then what’s left? McDonald’s?

I guess I’m in a whiny mood today. But that’s what blogs are for, I think. To whine about life, and the things that bother you. Tomorrow I will be in a much better mood, hopefully ready to slay dragons again, writing inspirational essays about self-discipline and the drive to overcome obstacles.

But I write this today, because this is all part of the artistic journey. Being an artist isn’t always about slaying dragons and celebrating success along with the mild self-correction to have more discipline. Part of being an artist is the intense lows. It’s about self-doubt and wondering if anything is going anywhere. It’s about realizing what you have given up as an artist and not being sure if it was the worth the cost.

One day, I hope I will be a famous writer and I will look back on this essay and say, “It was definitely worth it.” But I have no guarantees that this road will ever lead anywhere.

Maybe that’s all part of what makes you strong. Maybe that’s what instills the drive in you. Maybe it is what filters out the weak that couldn’t handle success anyway. I don’t know. But I have tried so hard, and given so much, that I feel like I am strong enough.


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