One of my biggest struggles as an artist is the idea that where I am now is not good enough in my career. There is always someone who has done something better, who was cast, or who has something that you don’t. When I get into this negative mindset, it’s hard for me to push those thoughts away. I ask myself will I ever be good enough? Why am I here when I want to be there? What do they have that I don’t? I have one big piece of advice for you: it’s a trap.
Personally, I don’t see my artistic journey separated from my walk with Christ. If it were not for Him, I would feel pretty terrible about myself. One of the biggest things I have learned is that God uses our biggest disappointments as small shifts in another direction. He redirects us to a perspective we did not quite see before. The times where I have not been cast and been absolutely heartbroken have given me the opportunity to take on another artistic opportunity. The moments when I’ve gotten an opportunity that I wasn’t pleased about have led me to appreciate what I’m given and grounded me in humility. Those times where it’s easy to blame myself or others around me for unhappiness have only been graced and held in positive esteem because I have the hope and trust that God has something in mind for my future.
I was reading through 1 Samuel chapter 1 a couple days ago and was drawn to the story of Hannah. She was consistently disheartened because all she wanted was to have a child and was not able to give birth. She faced judgement from women around her because she could not conceive and cried to the Lord in disparity. But what set her apart in her trial is that she knew despite her situation, the Lord had power to provide what she needed, even if it was not at the time she expected. She said
“O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11 ESV
And because she believed, she was given a son. Had she waited years for this moment? Yes. Did she feel abandoned at times? For sure? Were there times that she doubted God had her best interest at heart? Absolutely. The amazing thing about faith is that even though we cannot see what the future holds, we put our trust in the idea that God can see the huge landmarks in our life that are out of sight to us.
To bring this back to my life, I want to point out some things. I had no idea that I would be working close to where I graduated after school instead of moving to a city. I also had no idea what I would be doing artistically after graduation until a month before I became an alum. I forget that I am human and I can’t control where I’m going to be at all times. Although where I am now is way different from my ideal goal, I’ve learned that it’s ok to have unexpected steps towards the dream you want to reach. It’s also ok to be confused for a bit. The more I settled into what my next chapter of life was going to look like, the more I realized the multiple reasons God placed me where I am for a purpose. Not my will but Yours.
Comparing myself to others in my career is setting myself up for failure, as it will to anyone who does this. We all have different paths because we are different people. I truly believe the places I go have a will far beyond my vision.
When you’re feeling down, just remember that your path is not meant to be exactly like someone else’s. You are meant to take your journey for a specific reason, and it’s going to be beautiful.