I was an art major for a bit in college. I eventually switched and graduated with a Communications Degree.
While the latter is equally respectable, the first had my entire heart at one point. I painted and dreamed just because I loved it. Freedom to be and create as I sat in class; surrounded by crusted lids atop paint tubes and charcoal and experimenting and feeling alive.
It was time for the end of the year project and I put some hours into mine, but not enough. My professor and I had developed a close relationship throughout the semester and it was my desire to "wow" him on the final day.
I did nothing of the sort. He didn't like my project at all. It was delivered bluntly by his apathy and even more so by the big "C-" he penciled in on the grading sheet.
I remember feeling 3 years old. Shaking and just wanting my mom to hold me and for the mean world to disappear. I felt like I was standing up there saying, "am I okay? is this good enough?" I took my piece and threw it in the garbage on the way out to my car. I remember cramping it up and it was such a large piece, only a small part of it actually fit in the garbage. I didn't even look back.
I have probably told one person this story. Simply because I have pushed it so far down in my memory bank, hoping to forget it completely. Also, I felt embarrassed. I wanted to get the A and become one of the greats.
I was still one of the greats as I drove home, but I no longer believed it. I let his "C" crush me and I stopped something I loved.
Years passed without much creation in my heart as I changed majors and graduated in Interpersonal Communication. Something that was tragically distant from my heart.
Oh, what I would have whispered to that boney 19-year-old art major/dreamer.
Sweet Jen. Do what you love and don't look back. Get back up. People won't always love what you do, but you aren't doing it for their approval anyway. Create and love and go for it. You do not have to be the greatest, you just have to be yourself.
It was not a failure, but a part of my journey, my story. A chance to learn, to get up, dust off and move on stronger.
Dream on, dreamers.
(a little doodle from this morning)