Escape Into Uncertainty by Victoria R Wolf 1-20-24

Belief Is Not a Light Switch

Creating is in my DNA, and it took me a long time to figure that out, although I am sure it was obvious to everyone around me.

But if naysayers and narcissists surrounded you during your formative years, it’s not difficult to see how one could lack a basic understanding of who they are.

Looking back on my youth, I see an inquisitive child who was always creating. I constantly doodled, painted, built things, cherished my 64-piece Crayola crayon set, rearranged my bedroom countless times, constructed a dog house, and so much more.

In my late teens, I was a makeup artist and almost a hairstylist. I planned and executed a public fashion show and was heavily interested in merchandising and marketing.

Then, in my late twenties, I did the most creative thing to date: I started a graphic design business. And I am proud to say, 32 years later, that company is going strong.

How could I experience and express so much creativity throughout my life yet not understand and embrace that I am, in fact, a die-hard creative?

How much evidence do I need? And, what would change inside me if I embraced the fact that I am a creative?

Oh, I really want to know the answer to that last question!

When standing in front of the canvas, the words of the naysayers and narcissists from my early life mumble words into my consciousness in an attempt to put me back where they think I belong. The staying power of those people’s words is astonishing to me. How can that be?

Well, I am not having any of that anymore. I quit you, naysayers and narcissists. I am a creative, and you can’t stop me anymore.

Yes, writing that is quite freeing and powerful. I must believe it with my essence for it to become my reality. Believing in my creativity is not a one-step process or a light switch you can turn on or off. It takes time and experience to believe when you start from a deep-seated place of denial. And in my case, a lot of time.

And with every painting, I take a step closer to that belief in myself. “Escaping into Uncertainty” is a great example of the inner dialogue that plays regularly inside my head. The thoughts and feelings push and pull, tugging me in all directions. This dance creates a duality of feelings for me. I am fearful yet joyful. I am confident yet dread the outcome.

When I begin to paint, there is confidence, joy, and promise. A short time later, there is fear, uncertainty, and, sometimes, complete confusion. And peppered throughout the process, there are what I call moments of brilliance that energize me and keep me going.

I coach myself throughout each painting, guiding myself on a journey away from the dark and into the light. I must be vigilant in my path, or I will be derailed and find myself in a dark hole that threatens to consume me.

But in the end, a finished painting brings me joy and makes the journey worth it. Every minute I stand in front of the canvas takes me a step further from my tormentors and closer to belief.

Escape Into Uncertainty by Victoria R Wolf 1-20-24

I started “Escaping into Uncertainty” with a specific intent, a plan I was certain I would execute. But, as I went further into the painting, I found myself guided not by the naysayers and narcissists but by the creative voices and instincts that spoke to me and illuminated the path.

I fought hard to hear them, and it paid off. When the “good” guides me, I find that I am not sure why I am putting this brush stroke here and those marks there, but after I finish a painting, the message, or lesson, is always clear. For this painting, the message is that escaping from my past is uncertain and not without pain, which is okay and even healing. As I stare into the canvas, I see fear, rebellion, courage, and moments of joy. Basically, I see life.

What will the next painting reveal?


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