Well, if this isn't the story of my life painted on canvas, I'm not sure what is! I guess I'm still in the "New Year" introspective mode. I call it The Knowing and as I said, it really does describe my life. I'll explain:
Have you ever known something, about you, what's best for you or just what was right or true in a more general sense, yet everyone else insisted you were dead wrong? I mean everyone! You say left, they insist on right, you say black, they say white? Even the wind is against you, blowing in your face as you walk in one direction, only for you to turn around and get that same wind in the face. You're alone, different and seemingly in the middle of a strange city without a soul.
I've been there several times, and it's not a great feeling. When I decided to walk away from the 9-5 grind in favour of painting full time is just one small example. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had a problem with it. Get a job, Carl. Keep a job, Carl. You can't just paint and nothing else, Carl. What will people say, Carl? And on and on. The pressure can be overwhelming because you know you can't please both yourself and these other voices.
I suppose the best teacher is life itself, because here's what I learned. If you know the truth and you know deep down what's right, and the choice is between pleasing yourself and those voices, choose yourself each and every time! You can tell those others to get lost, they may mean well, and it may be hard, but either they can get on board and support you or they can go. The only person you're ever truly stuck with is yourself, and no one wants to be stuck with a miserable S.O.B. 24 hours a day! In fact, it turns out that strange city, population 1, with the wind blowing in your face, is an awesome place to be. So awesome in fact that a funny thing happens, those same nay-sayers, once they see how happy you are there, they begin to move to town too. ;)