11 August, 2017
I am not using this post to preach. These words I write are not intended to make you change your life. These words represent the way my mind works. I’d rather you didn’t see them as words of advice- more as words of mindfulness and words that just randomly show up at the end of my fingertips. I just want you to be happy, so if you can empathise with this post or have any opinions about it, please let me know.
Words that I keep hearing from someone, who heard from someone etc. etc. are “everyone is on their own journey”. You can read these words as total cheese but when I read them, I think yesss. These words can relate to your relationships, your career, your health, anything. Everyone is doing their own thing, so really, we should be keeping our nose’s out of each other’s journeys and focusing on our own.
I’ve started to be more mindful about this because I kept finding myself unsettled when people act like some things in life are “fixed” or have a “set time”. Life shouldn’t be seen like this- surely, we should be living in a way that feels right just for ourselves and not trying to live like the person next to us. There is no “set age” to get married, there is no “set price” for a piece of artwork, there is no “set time” to eat your lunch and there is certainly no “set time” to hit life goals. From talking to friends, reading articles and flicking through social media- I see that people are kicking themselves for not conforming to “standards” set by.. set by who!? What standards? Why do we think that we should all live up to the same “standards” (whatever they are) and also, why do we judge others by our own “standards” (whatever they are)? I say ‘we’ as a generalisation here.
An example of a typical judgement is when people get engaged- some do after being together for 6 weeks/months and some do after being together for 10, 15 or even 20 years! The point is, they want to get married- it shouldn’t matter to us when it happens; that’s their journey, not ours. Why judge them for something that fundamentally makes them happy? If these marriages fail or succeed, 1. it’s none of anyone else’s business, 2. it’s not necessarily because of the time they got engaged and 3. it’s none of anyone else’s business (yes, I meant to write that one twice).
This is something that I’ve had to learn over time. We all compare ourselves to each other, and social media makes this super easy to do- I still do it on occasions!
It’s about being mindful about your own life and what makes you happy. If your sister is getting engaged- it doesn’t mean that you have to, if your friend is going to the gym- it doesn’t mean that you have to, if that artist is painting in a certain way- it doesn’t mean thats how you should be painting. You get the idea. There isn’t really a set way or time to do anything.
I think that when you start comparing yourself to others and keep trying to fit within these “standards”, you’re jeopardising yourself from having a happy mind. Your mind will actually become quite negative- you’ll beat yourself up about not going to the gym or not earning a certain about of money, you’ll resist socialising and you may start to walk down a path labelled “depression this way”. I’ve done it before and it’s ridiculous. So, if you’re doing this, it needs to stop. (Whoops- trying to give advice!)
In the past, I did the same when it came to making art. I saw many very successful artists, creating beautiful work and having hundreds of thousands of followers- and I thought to myself why can’t I make art like them?.. or what do they do that I don’t?.. or how can they afford such expensive materials? It’s one of those things- we compare, we get jealous, we get frustrated and a happy mind gets more and more out of our reach. Just stop doing it. If someone’s social profile really gets your goat or makes you feel bad about yourself, either don’t follow them or step back and congratulate them on their journey, then carry on with your own. Their journey is not yours in the slightest. You are you, they are them. Why do you think we all look different, sound different and smell different? Because we are different.
Over the last few months, I’ve embraced being different and started to find my own way of living, my own way of interpreting the world and my own way of making art. Read my story here.
Let’s all embrace being different.
To have a happy mind, do not conform to “standards” and make your own mark because you’re awesome as you are.
Check in next week for the next “Happy Mind 101” – it’s my birthday on the Friday, so it’s likely the next post will be up earlier on in the week!
See what I’ve been up to in the studio this week on Instagram.