I’m really tired! Is it ok for me to admit that?
With all the “hustlin'” and “grindin'” everyone claims to be doing these days, it seems bad to mention wanting a little bit of downtime or a slower pace every now and then. If you do dare to speak such talk, apparently you weren’t ’bout that life in the first place. Damn! There’s no in-between, huh? Just grind endlessly or go home? Hashtag “teamnosleep?” Man, fuck that. I guess I’ll be Team #turndownforchillin.
I’ve committed myself to participating in more shows and producing more work this year. At the time of setting those goals, it all seemed so exciting and possible! I’m aware that it takes work and that there are mental, emotional, and even social costs to increasing production and visibility as an artist. I can grind and grind, promote, prepare, research, and network – things that one is supposed to do to be set up for success when a period of positive momentum hits. All of those things are tiring enough even when nothing is happening, but you can become accustomed to it. There’s an awareness of the tasks to complete and some fatigue, sure, but there’s not as much urgency during stages of famine or when one is in-between projects. It’s manageable. However, recently I’ve learned that when a stride really does hit, you have to do all of those same tasks to the umpteenth power. All of that plus anything else that comes up while gaining momentum. The tired I’ve felt during “downtime” is nothing compared to what I’m feeling during this time of progress. I really have to be ON. Especially tonight, because tonight is the opening reception of my latest solo show:
I have to shake hands and kiss babies, and make the shit look easy. Even though on the inside I’m filled with anxiety, doubt and a bunch of other ambivalent thoughts and emotions. I have to self-promote and market everything like crazy. No one tells you how weird that feels. And I have to do it across every social media platform that I have. Nigga, what…? I have to actually tell people to buy my work, I can’t JUST ask them to come. Semantics! That’s another thing that feels weird which no one tells you about. I don’t want to have to think about that. Oh, and also, I have to work a full-time job and still stay on track with a schedule of creating new work. Thankfully I have a little bit of time to kill now that this new show is up, but I can’t sit still for too long. Yo, ya girl is tired!
But would I trade? Helllll nah! I’m exhausted and a little overwhelmed right now but the progress is intoxicating. I can’t think about doing anything else but making good work that feels authentic to me, getting it out there and connecting with people through it. But to do so means pushing past a lot of things that I may perceive as limitations, or even annoyances. “It’s levels to this,” and I think I might have finally stepped up one. I’ve done too much to be able to reach the stride I’ve hit right now. Who knows how long it will last? So if it means I have to be tired to get to that then so be it. A friend of mine recently suggested that being tired is a good thing, and I think that he may be right.
…But forreal though, right now all I want is to be naked with a big ass plate of ribs, in a warm bed, while getting a body massage. Can I just get that about now???