So, what could make a good day? I would say, after much thought, that it starts with to “decide, not let slide.” It is obvious that I let things slide, and have been for years. So many wasted chances to really do what I want. Whether it has been responding to an annoying comment or passing on an opportunity that was right in front of me, I consistently pushed them off to another day. Instead of exclaiming “carpe diem,” and doing what I want/feel like doing, I would engage in mundane activities like chores, busywork, doom scroll, or plop down on the couch in front of some streaming service.
I can’t let that continue if I want to live my best life. I have so much talent and goals that I have let simmer on the back burner or, in some cases, rot in the corner. Thinking back to my earliest creative goals as an elementary school kid, I always wanted to draw cartoons and write. I felt at home in both of those worlds. I can do both, but I don’t. I say to myself, “I wish I was doing what I want,” but instead of doing what I want (as I can), I make excuses that I need to instead do work, chores, or something else before I can do what I want. I act like I am punishing myself for wanting to be happy. At the same time, I truly believe I am afraid of failing at my biggest and most precious goal in life. (It’s my most honest goal as well, as it came to me as a child.) But, I will only fail if I don’t go heads first into my dreams. Ignoring my passions is not a life worth living. Instead, I need to… no I must… make every day great by deciding not to slide.
In the shower this morning, all of this hit me. I sat down to journal after eating, to put my thoughts in writing. Writing it here makes it final. I typed it up publicly so I could be held accountable (by myself and you) that I was taking back my life and moving toward the happiness I deserve. I am doing this. I want to feel fulfilled and optimistic each day. We all do. What helps this happen, is seeing the progress toward something bigger than you. I see that the arts are that for me. I want to write/draw to make people think, feel, and wonder. I want to bring happiness and curiosity to those who read or see what I make. I have always wanted this ever since I was a kid.
I remember watching “Aladdin” in high school with my family in the movie theater. This was when and where I first had this feeling and eventual goal. I found myself laughing at Robin Williams playing the Genie in the film, and while doing so, noticed others giggling and slapping their knees in the seats around me as well. I stopped watching the screen for just a moment to remember that I was watching a cartoon. An animated movie (back in the 90s that is) was just many drawings on acetate, painted by hand. How amazing was it that pencils, ink, paint, voices, and music all moving together could bring about so much joy, sorrow, inspiration, and wonder all at the same time? I wanted to do this. I can.
My plan going forward is to dive back into this dream that still can happen – and will. A good day for me will be writing and drawing in my home surrounded by my smart and caring family (which includes my two cats and dogs). I will do this because I love to create. What will I write? Short stories and maybe a novel are swirling in my head. A children’s book and its painted pages are also ruminating there as well. They’ve been there sleeping since 1995 and need to awake into the world. I also want to find my illustration style again, so I’ll draw. I’ll sketch without worrying about what it looks like. I used to draw 2-3 hours a day in college. It was a parameter I created to make a good day. I wanted to get better at drawing then, and I knew that the more I did that, the better I’d become. So I drew during class and after. I drew in my apartment and on the bus. It was almost a Dr. Seuss rhyme!
What makes a good day? For me, now, in 2021, it’s to feel fulfilled through my family, friends, and my writing and drawing. I need all of them in one day to feel alive, optimistic, and full of joy and wonder.