Being Good Enough

Hello Readers!

Most mornings, when I sit down to breakfast, I bring along my iPad and catch up on my news feed. My news feed is an RSS app aggregating a number of providers that I choose to follow but typically includes a little music production, a couple writing and art blogs, and a bunch of sources for tech news. (You know, the day job.)

When I’m done with that or just whenever I need a break from it, I have a couple magazines that I like to read in the News app. (Yeah, I have that News+ subscription with all the magazines. Don’t judge me.) My magazines of choice: Wired, FutureMusic, and ImagineFX.

You would think that reading through a magazine like ImagineFX would provide so much inspiration. That’s true, most of the time.

Sometimes, though, there are days when it’s more depressing than inspiring.

I could never draw that. Am I even good enough to be an artist? Look at this kid, probably half my age and twice the talent. Why am I posting art again?

All the advice is always for people starting off fresh in their careers too. You know, those days before you have the house, the marriage, and the 2.5 kids. Those days when you have fewer responsibilities and if you had to go hungry for a couple days in order to chase your dreams, it’ll be okay because you don’t have other people relying on you.

Sometimes, it can be… overwhelming. (Especially in the cold, dark days of the winter months.)

When I was young, those early teenage years, I remember loving the cold winters. It was the best time to look up at the sky and, since I didn’t live anywhere near a city, see all the stars.

In those cold winter nights, the air was crisp and the sky was clear. So clear. There they were, all the stars.

I had my life all planned.

I knew, without any doubt in my mind, that I was going to be a computer engineer. I never thought twice about it. I never thought of alternate careers. Everything else could wait. It had to wait. I had a singular focus and I went after it.

I guess that’s where I am now, all over again, working on this art thing.

It’s a little different this time, though. When I was working towards my computer career, I would settle for nothing less than perfection for many years. I needed to learn everything I could, be the best I could – no, I needed to be better than everyone around me. That was the goal.

I changed, though.

I no longer want to be the best. I simply want to be good enough. I was burning out before because I spent my days working and my evenings learning about the things that I would need for work the next day. I never made time for anything else.

My desire to be “good enough” coincided largely with wanting to invest time in hobbies. Real, proper hobbies. First, I found drawing and then I found painting. Somewhere along the way, I found music, too.

So, I stopped living my life for computers and invested time in myself. I decided that it was important to try and put something meaningful into the world, something positive. I found a certain thrill in making things and being able to see or hold those things later. It is so much different than working in tech.

My life has become more balanced because of it. And… it means that I’ll never be the best of the best but that’s okay. I keep reminding myself that being good enough is just fine. Good enough isn’t the same as “lazy” or “not trying” or “not ever going to improve or learn”. It just means balanced.

Whenever I’m feeling down, I think about the path my life has taken and why I started drawing in the first place. And, then, I remember that I’m not in competition with those artists in the magazines. I’m not really in competition with anyone. I can appreciate their amazing art and I can appreciate mine too.

Thanks for stopping by,


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