As I faced the end of graduate school I was left with much that was uncertain. My thesis advisor and I talked about the possibilities of creating a show about my family. And I felt overwhelmed. The excuses, all of them, the very practical excuses poured out. And he said simply. "Just do it." There will always be excuses and reasons why you shouldn't, he explained.
I read all sorts of articles on creating and figuring out how to make art and survive. There are often lists filled with the helpful top ten things you should or shouldn't do as an artist.
I think there are many practical business things to understand and know as an artist. But there is so much of this that I can't control. And though a top ten lists can help, they aren't often the final solution, they are just steps in figuring it all out. And then there is the creative side. The illusive, wonderful, frustrating path of making things. The fear and procrastination and joy and despair, comparison, jealousy and bad reviews.
As I've come to love Korean Dramas there are two words that pop up. The shows tend to be highly emotional and many viewers talk about all the "feels". The ups and downs of the emotional journey that a drama can take you on. And perhaps I like it because my life is full of 'feels' and creating brings the 'feels' in a hurricane. The anxiety, the joy, the love, the passion, the determination, the silliness that comes out prior to a performance. And the post show emotions of relief and exhilaration and the reminder and ache to do more as well as the reminder that we never reach the peak of what we dream of.
The second word that comes to mind from Korean Dramas is "fighting". The characters raise a fist and say, "fighting", encouraging someone to keep going.
Life is full of so many 'feels', and creating and acting has an intensity of 'feels' that I can't begin to sort through. But I think my professor is right. That you just do it. You keep fighting. You keep creating. You keep giving out into the world. Not because you have it all figured out. Not because you are perfect. Not because it makes a lot of money. Not because it is easy or simple. But because life is a gift. And fighting and creating life is a practice of living in the gift.
So today I tell myself, and those who are in the angst and joy of creating. Enter all the feels with courage and fight. Fight to just do it. Messily and imperfectly, but with the deep love of the work you are creating. Here's to fighting! And to all the people who remind us to just do it, feels and all. Fighting.