The Artist’s Way : The Artist’s Date, Part Two

The last time I spoke about The Artist’s Way I was singing the praises of the goodness of the Artist date. What I didn’t realize that last time was low key: it wasn’t a one time only event, it didn’t really effect my family’s schedule, it wasn’t something where I would be a loner surrounded by a crowd. 

In a word, this time was harder. But bigger. And so much more meaningful.  

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Kishi Bashi was coming to town for a free concert {insert “anime in love” eyes here} and I wanted to go. But responsibility told me to say, “no.”  

It’s the first football Saturday of the season which means your husband will not want to be there. And it doesn’t start until 8 which is Sam’s bedtime. So I’ll have to get a sitter. But then I forgot to get a sitter. Did I want to mess up his {very precarious} sleep schedule? Nope. I sure did not. 

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“So I should be an adult,”  I told myself, “and not go.” No big deal. It’s not like I paid for a ticket. I don’t know many of his songs... even though he is an amazing musician.

The stream of talking myself out of it, of justifying it, was continuous. In fact, it bordered on annoying. 

So the night of the concert happens and after dinner I decide that all that self-talk is happening because I still wanted to go. All the excuse-making was trying to justify my being a martyr.

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In chapter five of The Artist’s Way, Cameron talks about the virtue of the martyr. How the virtue of “being nice” is a form of self-abuse and self-neglect. I found this to ring very true.

Since high school I have actively made it my goal in life to be “the nice one”.  That trap has been a scarily effective way to continually cover-up my own true self. For so long, I pushed my own desires down under other’s expectations or to placate their feelings.

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And don’t misunderstand: community and connection is great. Vital, even, for an artist. But only, I think, when oneself is able to be genuine and true. 

Being a resentful wife sitting on the coach refusing to watch football wasn’t going to help anyone. So, I went to this massive community event and concert by myself. 

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And it was delightful. 

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I didn’t have anyone to apologize to {or carry anyone} when the closest parking was three quarters of a mile away. I didn’t have to stand in a 30-minute line for food that may or may not have been eaten {toddler life}. I could photograph strangers and strange glowing activities and just be another face in the crowd. And I could cry the entirety of the first song and be momentarily be taken over by the power and beauty of one person’s putting their creative story into the world.

This was the beauty of refusing to be a martyr.

This, to me, was the beauty of allowing myself to be myself. The beauty of freedom.

Also: this is not Kishi Bashi post. But y’all. He is seriously SUCH a talented musician. Find on video of him performing on YouTube: his ability and skill is mind blowing. 

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I would apologize for the questionable quality of the photos, but they fit the energy of the event so well I won’t.

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I left while people were still streaming in.

Responsibility, and the knowledge that my toddler refuses to sleep past 6am, didn’t disappear on the sound waves that had originally taken my breath away during the first song. And that was a lesson to, I think.

Not only am I not supposed to be a martyr, but I’m also not going to run away with a wild wolf pack of indie rock groupies and desert the life I’ve built. {Come on. I know I’m not the only human out there who, occasionally, gets lost in the reverie of what it would be like to run away… It’s called escapism and we all do it.} But this evening was a tiny reminder that my life is a good one to come back to. And that is a beautiful gift itself.

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