I’m discovering it takes a special kind of endurance to be a leader, an artist, a maker, and to bring any idea to life. Too many times now, the energy behind advice such as: “never give up”, “you’ve got to have tough skin”, “just ____ and everything will be alright”, fizzled out, and often I would just burn out along with it.
The truth is, it takes a particular type of endurance to live a creative life that no end-result picture will ever be able to explain. It’s more like an attitude, or a moment to moment way of living. It can feel like sustained uncertainty, choosing to work side by side with the fear of having to constantly face shortcomings in order to improve, and to a soundtrack of all the reasons one shouldn’t even try: “Good things aren’t for you. You’re too disorganized/inexperienced/unprepared to make it happen.” It takes a particular kind of endurance to welcome this discomfort, and at the same time, choose to push it aside to work, to evaluate any mistakes, adjust and repeat, over and over. I’m finding that just imagining approaching my work with this endurance makes me see the road ahead differently.
*Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, photo: Karen E. Reeves