It finally hit me on yesterday that this is the end of the third week of my last four week class at university. I am a little more than one week away from achieving a goal that began a little over three years ago. I focused on my life's purpose and engaged what I was passionate about ever since I was a little kid and now I am about to receive a Bachelor's of Science in Digital Cinematography.
I am at a point in my life that I worked very hard to achieve. It didn't seem like hard work at the time but now that I am able to look back I can definitely tell it's quite possibly the hardest I have ever worked in my life. Acknowledging that is a very surreal feeling. Over the years I learned a lot about myself and how I function as a creative and an adult. I learned what it will take for me to be successful in what I want to do in my life. I learned some behaviors that I needed to change and some that still need to be worked one such as my ability to work myself into the ground and experience burn out. Naturally, upon looking back, a surge of excitement and feeling of being on the edge of a panic attack ensued.
I happened to find an article written by Austin Kleon titled Another Perspective (On Cosmic Perspective). Upon reading about how Jerry Seinfeld and an astronomer were able to maintain perspective through the lens of the universe (or the lens from the Hubble telescope to be more precise) I was able to recenter myself and place myself back into my work.
Whenever I start on a new project I tend to want to get everything done all at once. This has been true even back when I started my YouTube channel before I started school. In my little anxiety mind, I have to have a content strategy plan, finished portfolio website, a backlog of video projects, multiple video projects already uploaded, a twitter account with x amount of followers already, etc. The list keeps going on and I use to get hard on myself whenever I wasn't able to complete that ever growing list. Conveniently my anxiety brain left the responsibility of figuring out the details to me and just kept adding to the list. Burn out comes without fail every time.
Here is the thing though. We are floating on this rock in the middle of nothing. We live in a time where we can, very affordably, create the sort of content we are passionate about and share it with the world. Literally the world. The internet is an amazing place and this is an amazing time to be a creative.
I am not saving anybody's life with my work. I am no doctor. I'm always giving my friends and fellow creatives the advice that it's ok if you don't have one million subscribers on youtube. It's ok if you don't have a massive following on twitter. It's ok if you don't already have a massive library of finished works because no one starts out as such. We all need to take these things in stride, step by step, and day by day. We all need to make room for fun, pleasure, and joy.
There is always time for us to give ourselves a little self care and to enjoy life and what it has to offer.