Just in case no one has ever told you, you have a calling in this life and you should embrace it.
I know how it feels, it’s as though a very specific path has been laid out for you to follow. The importance of walking this path is overwhelming and you constantly feel the pull, it is always at the forefront of your mind.
Yet you hesitate.
You are frightened of not knowing what your purpose is. Every time you pick up a pen, sit at the piano or hold your brush you fight the doubt. It is a very hard thing for humans to live without knowing the reason for something, we struggle without a strong sense of navigation and an end goal in sight, let’s just acknowledge that.
Creatives especially, are deeply drawn to meaning. Yet they so often have to surrender to the unknown. Their work begins shapeless, while they’re questioned constantly on its meaning. They understand that people are asking because they are craving connection and they want to deliver that to them. So they look for purpose everywhere, all the time, in conversations and street signs, natures landscapes and objects intricacies; and they seek to turn their thoughts into something tangible for others.
On top of that pressure, usually what the artist has made will be a fraction of what they imagined. They will feel unfulfilled, like they have failed at portraying some kind of beauty of nature or truth of mind. Artists can become so consumed by worry of purpose, so addicted to finding it, they actually stop creating and fall into a creative limbo.
Searching for your purpose without creating is driving you mad, so you let go.
You learn that it is not your job to make the art have purpose; and it is not your job to create perfect portrayals of what is in your mind either.
It is your role however, to think deeply, to explore concepts, colours and sounds. To simplify your ideas enough for others to connect to easily and interpret for themselves. The complexity of your work lies in the observers mind – so let go of any preconceived ideas for how your work should make others feel or think.
And when it come to purpose, know this, your purpose is to pay attention.
Pay attention to whats around you, what’s happening to others, yourself and the world in intricate detail. You are a deep thinker, you’re distracted and restless, your attention shifts from people to colours, sounds and movement. You’re beautiful and wild in your element. You’re documenting history, like Nina Simone famously said “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” You’re speaking for the voiceless when you sing, you’re capturing the beauty of people when you draw, you’re telling thousands of stories when you write through one character.
Yes, being an artist is hard, it’s messy, it can be painful and confronting. But no one learns the art of letting go quite like a serious creative. And when an artist learns to let go of needing a reason to create, when they let go of their fears, shortcomings and flaws, they prove to others that you can be free, which is no small thing.
Love from Esmé
Esmé is a Sydney based singer/songwriter. Her latest single ‘Ella’ is a dreamy track that pays homage to one of her biggest inspirations: Ella Fitzgerald. You can listen to it here. Follow Esmé on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram