Last weekend, as I was returning from a run in the neighbourhood and walking back to the house, I decided that from now on I was going to refer to myself as an artist. That sounds like a strange thing to say, but to me it’s kind of a big deal. I’ve spent years now struggling with my professional identity — increasingly frustrated by the fact that I was working in marketing, and with marketing people, and not working on things that are more meaningful or self-fulfilling. Before I made the decision, I had spent a few days making very good progress on my hand-drawn animation projects, developing things that I felt were really interesting, and that do have some artistic value, and that might resonate with people. And so I thought that in order to fully become what I intend to be, I had to change my own label for myself, or rather finally give myself a clear label, and start believing in its accuracy.
So after I’d returned, I went to the professional networking websites that I have profiles on, and I changed my profession. That was my first milestone.
The other milestone was last Tuesday evening, when I suddenly discovered that I had some free time before meeting a couple of friends, and that I could spend that time going out running. That doesn’t sound too earth-shattering, but to me it was kind of a big deal. I’ve spent years frustrated by the fact that I was not exercising enough, and exercise had always seemed like this bitter pill that I had to take even though I didn’t want to, yet it was good for me. But I simply wouldn’t take enough of it, because … well, it’s a bitter pill! There was too much struggle and stress in my life already, why add the additional stress of cutting out time to just be running around, being stressed again? So finding myself one late afternoon, thinking “how about I just go for a run”, was, therefore, a really nice change. Changing my life, calming down, doing more things that are of intrinsic value to me … apparently all of this is giving me more peace of mind, and that peace of mind allows me to appreciate exercise as something positive and nice.
These are massive milestones. In the past decade (or so), I gradually stopped believing that I could find an activity that really draws me in, and allows me to forget time, and really feels fulfilling. And yet I have apparently already found it (working on my animation movies) — so much so that I believe it justified to change what I call my profession. And secondly, during that same time span I have started thinking that exercise to me will always be a big struggle, and yet here I am, a few weeks into my new life, and I am already exercising spontaneously, and because it’s something that feels good.
The old enemy is my hypochondria. I have something again that is bothering me, a pain in a rather private part, and even though I’ve had similar things in the past, and they always turned out to be nothing, I am bothered by it, and it worries me, and takes happiness away. So my hypochondria is apparently not yet going away … Who knows, maybe it will one day, too.
P.S.: I actually completely forgot this when I posted it earlier today: another quite remarkable change in my better life now is that I cook all the time now! I used to never cook at home (or only rarely something really limited, like cook pasta with ready-made pesto), but now I have started to regularly prepare my own food these days. That is even more remarkable than my new exercise habits. Admittedly, it’s not crazy cool stuff, it’s mainly some type of scrambled egg with various vegetables added, or I’ll grill a piece of meat, but I’m getting there. My sliced and fried potatoes are really good, actually!