I’m a dreamer. I dare to go to places that are uncharted especially if I believe in my heart that God is sending me there. And guess what, on most days, this is awesome.
By pursuing a career in dance and as I figure out how this will play out in the bigger picture of my passion for missions, I have had great milestones. I’ve traveled out of the country, (My passport is almost full😄), I have met people I never thought in a million years I’d meet and I’m paying my bills with my passion. I mean, the future keeps looking brighter and brighter. That’s the life, isn’t it?
Well, with every hill there’s a valley. For me, these are some of the dark moments that normally linger with art-prenuership.
1. It feels lonely at times. So I work when everyone else is free and I’m more likely to have time when everyone else is busy. Let’s just say my social skills have diminished somewhat in the last 5 years. I used to be an extrovert. Recently I took a test and found that I’m 75% introverted and worse I’m a logician, meaning I place logic on emotions.
Now, this has had its side effects. Imagine having a simple conversation where someone wants to know how your day was. But that simple question ends up feeling like a jigsaw puzzle and the way I answer it isn’t quite simple. I often come out as a person who doesn’t want to talk, yet here I am trying…
Now that’s a normal day for me. A simple bonding question normally feels like a mathematical equation. My answers normally come without any feelings and I seem to at times be snobbish, yet I have tried. This makes it really hard to relate to people. It’s easier planning an event that will give me tonnes of stress than to sit down for a normal chat.
So here’s the downside. People never understand you. You rarely have anyone around to celebrate the success or to let your frustrations go. People rarely seem to stay beyond seasons. The good thing, however, is that having read a few articles on entrepreneurship, and having learnt this in my entrepreneurship class, it’s not an uncommon thing, meaning I’m not the only one. Delayed gratification, probably, but I believe that somewhere on the horizon lies hope.
2. Highs are really high and lows are really low. I don’t have a “normal day”. Each day comes with its own unique challenges depending on what I’m doing. This year I did an event and this was the first time I was also working consistently; coming from a class, heading to practice, planning etc. Now the adrenaline you face in such circumstances is beyond normal, but then when you crash, it’s bad.
For this event, I was trying a new concept with dance, something I hadn’t seen, at least not here in Kenya. There weren’t many people I could go to for advice in the hard times, so when the trying moments came, Murphy’s Law kicked in: everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong.
But we never quit, do we? The concert was a huge success, but I was too fatigued to have the strength to celebrate.
3. Being a perfectionist, it’s easy to get lost in what went wrong and not appreciate what was good. Let’s use the event as an example. I saw so many cracks that I had started to beat myself up. It wasn’t until a few people whom I trust their judgment pointed out to all the good things that I began to appreciate how successful the event was, and that it achieved its intended target.
Problem is, all too often I approach life the same way. I rarely get to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as I focus too much on what’s not going right. I’m learning what it means to take it a day at a time. Sit down, drink some coffee and just let your mind see the good things around you.
Easier said than done, but it’s all about taking a day at a time.
4. Failure becomes a reality. This has so far been the biggest reality check.
You cannot grow without learning. You cannot learn without failing.
I have heard from countless successful people that it is in their failures that they grew. I’ve heard it said that we need to learn from other people’s mistakes, and I somewhat agree.
However, here’s the flip side. We all have our journey. Our paths aren’t the same and what worked for one may not work for another. It took me 3 years before I consistently earned from my art. Before that, tried and failed, tried again and failed again. But if I hadn’t failed, I wouldn’t have picked up the lessons necessary to be where I am today.
Problem is, no matter how well you package failure, it will always hurt.
5. No one ever seems to understand. Not even the closest people to you ever seem to truly grasp what’s in your head. Some may support you but factor in point one it’s a difficult one to handle.
I am honestly praying for the one who chooses to live the rest of her life with me. She will have a ball, but she will also need grace. (I love you babe in advance 😉)
6. Mental battles. This is my last one. Read an article on entrepreneurs or just have chat with one. I think our biggest battles are won in our heads.
For me to come out and say I’m doing project A or I’m going to do this thing for the next season, we have probably gone through any and every battle there is. We have overcome fear, doubt, anxiety, people’s opinions and anything and everything there is to it.
And that’s why quitting is never an option once you’ve started. By that time, you’ve probably done so many battles that you ask yourself, “if I quit now, then was all that for nothing?”
Depression is always at your door. For me especially, what keeps me going is the purpose, the hope of a better tomorrow.
It’s because of those dark moments that there’s light in my life. Yes, there are those things I hope would change, like my relational skills, and the loneliness. But then it’s because of who we are and what we go through that inspire us to be more, to leave an impact in the hearts of many.
We all have our dark moments. I pray that these moments will push you to greatness.
If you can relate, or if you are especially in a dark moment, drop a comment or write to me.
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