My first experience with photo-realism. I finished this 2 years ago as one of the last projects I did at Sterling College. Looking back at this makes me want to paint another! Photo-realism is probably my favorite kind of painting.
Who I am scares me. I’m afraid I can make it. I’m not afraid of failure. Failure is comfortable, a lesson, a way to success. But what happens when you get it? That’s what scares me. I don’t think I’d know what to do with it (success, that is). At that point, my hopes and dreams would be a reality. What then? New dreams, I guess. I’m never satisfied anyways. That’s what makes life interesting – always heading somewhere, going on another adventure.
But I’ve got another fear. Because, you see, I’ve been assuming I’m gonna make it if I try. I said I’m comfortable with failure, but I lemme correct myself. I’m comfortable with calculated failure. The thoughts in the back of my head saying “you can do it, Ellie, you just need more..” or “you gotta finish this first” or simply “..not yet” reassure me that my dreams are totally within my reach, but it is I who am not reaching out.
How fucked would I be if I were to actually reach out to grab them and they weren’t there. They just appeared close. This whole time I was holding out for something that was never attainable. What if I were to actually reach out and grab them and they aren’t what I expected. I catch my dreams, but they turn on me. I’ve spent all this time theorizing my future in my head without connecting it to action. By the time I act and seize my dream, I don’t recognize it. I don’t want it anymore.
I guess I am afraid of failure. What if I give everything I am? What if I actually give my all and put everything into my art? What if I don’t have an excuse? If I did the best I could and still don’t make it?
So I begin. I reach out. Just barely. I’m really gonna do it this time.. oh, wait. Did you hear something? I think I heard something. Yep, I heard that. Right on time – an excuse. Hold on, maybe I’ll reach out some other time. I just gotta do this first. They say ignorance is bliss, and at least for now, I can at least pretend my hopes and dreams are attainable. That comforts me.
It comforts me more than reality. But here’s the thing.. I’ve got another fear. I’m afraid I’m full of shit. I don’t wanna look back on my life and wonder. I wanna know. I wanna know I made it or at least that I gave it my all and that took me somewhere else instead. Ignorance taunts me.
At the end of me, I will not be comforted by my excuses. They’ve already begun to eat me alive as it is. Curiosity and an urgency to live corrode my dependency on excuses and uncertainty. I wanna be who I’m meant to be. No. I need to be who I’m meant to be. Nothing else will appease my being.
Even now, fights break out inside of me. All the fears – of attained success, of uncalculated failure, willful ignorance – rush my will. Panic. Overwhelm the will with fear and nothing else matters. Thoughts of “hopes” and “dreams” revert to “breathe in and out” and “survive” as my mind protects itself. This isn’t my first fight so I’m tired, but not ignorant.
“Not ignorant.” I like that. Just like that, the fears are subdued. All of my fears also have a fear – truth. How can I be swept away in the fears of the unknown when I simply know? Where I am certain, my fears can’t exist.
The fight. Fear is gone. Truth is here. So what? I’m still truly damaged.. Truth isn’t enough. Fact, the very thing that drives the fears away, can itself be a fear. Yet my will is comforted by facts. I heal as I learn to love the truth. I heal as I learn to be loved by the facts. Love comforts me. The truth appeases me.
I reach out to grab my dreams. I feel the fears grab my arm. “Are you sure you wanna do this, Ellie?”
Yes. I want to know. Whatever the reality of my hopes and dreams are, I want to experience that – the truth of who I’m meant to be. I want to love who I’m meant to be, and I do. I love my being as much as I know it, and I want to know more. My only fear is ignorance. This I know.