We’ve all heard that before. There will be a time in your life that you experience something powerful. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be exposure to a new hobby that inspires you. What about a movie with a following that you find particularly fun to be a part of? It can even be a new religion that speaks volumes to you. Whatever it is, it touches and inspires you.
And sometimes we’re met with resistance. “You’ll get over it soon, it’s a phase.”
That’s exactly what I heard when I was younger. For years I suffered with the idea that I wanted to be artistic but fail at it. My creativity suffered for so long because I thought I wasn’t good enough. And yet I still kept coming back time after time. I wanted to draw, take photos, paint beautiful images I saw in my head. I knew being an artist wasn’t a phase, I just wasn’t good at it yet. Now I take my time and assess my strengths instead of my weaknesses. So how can you tap into the confirmation that something is more than a phase?
Have a trial period
Set yourself up for success by settling deadlines. Sometimes we become obsessed with something and move on after a short time. Can you love this for more than four months? How about a whole year? What if you find yourself obsessed with something simple? I fell in love with a certain shade of yellow not too long ago. It’s now August and I still wear that hoodie with glee. Before I had only worn black. The yellow remained with me for more than a few months and now I know it wasn’t a phase.
Give it your all
I’m still struggling with this one. I want to be a better artist but I keep making up excuses for myself. I never find the time for art and I need that to change. Once my Dutch work is over I’ll be spending an hour every day to draw. This way I can’t make up excuses on why I never did.
If you feel uncomfortable with your new interest then give it another thought. Think of it this way. You’ve made a new Instagram account. You’d like to devote yourself to posting photos of beautiful flowers. For the first month you’re met with praise on your pictures and you love the attention. But after awhile you begin to get bored of taking photos of flowers. Or you don’t find them interesting anymore. Yet, your online fans get upset if you post pictures of the beach. If you’re doing it to please others, don’t do it for them. Do it for yourself. With pressure comes stress to maintain an image that doesn’t make you happy. Choose your happiness over all else, even if it means closing down that account and starting fresh.
Invest in stages
I don’t recommend doing what I did. For years I felt the call of living overseas. I thought it would be fun and easy. When the option came for me to pick up and leave I didn’t hesitate. I sold most of my things, packed up everything else and took a 14 hour flight to my new home. I had never been to The Netherlands and I had never lived with a boyfriend before. Thankfully for me, everything went well.
For a long time I experienced a loss of identity and pretty bad depression. But I didn’t give up. I had wanted this for years and I wasn’t going to let it go. While I’m not saying you should never do what I did. If you decide to jump in head first you must brace yourself to take what life gives you. My mom thought I was going through a phase when I moved. She expected me home after a few months. A year had passed and then she understood I wasn’t coming home.
Don’t sweat it
In the end if you feel unfulfilled by what you’ve done then it’s time to take a step back. If all your efforts leave you feel empty, there’s no shame in that. We grow and change as we’re fed new experiences. The wonderful part of life is that we can take some of those influences and improve on who we want to become.