On Fear, Perfection, and Gratitude

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Blog, hands, head, heart | 3 comments

It’s been a year.  More than a year.  Let’s just say it’s been too long and move on, shall we?   I was laid off my office job in February of 2010, and have been struggling with all sorts of preconceived notions of self-worth and earning potential ever since.  I’ve been trapped in a quagmire of my own making.  I wasn’t happy going to work in a small grey cube, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day, only to come home and sit in front of the computer all evening.  My body thinks I’m not working unless I’m sitting in front of the little box.  (And to be honest, all my friends live in the little box. ~waves~)

Gradually, I’ve broken away from my old patterns.  After so many years of doing the daily grind, it’s difficult to make the transition from worker bee to artist.  There’s no structure that I don’t create for myself.  There’s no one here to tell me what my deadlines are.  All of my goals are self-imposed. Even coming up with goals has been a struggle.  And the only feedback I get on the end product is limited to the benevolent kind you get from loved ones (i.e. the only people you’re brave enough to show your art to.)  I haven’t been very good at focusing my energies on my art or the business of my art.  To try is to risk failure, and I’ve never been good at failing.  I avoid it at all costs.

But failure will be what I face if I do nothing.  If I have to go back to work in an office, I want it to be a secondary job.  I have bills to pay, like everyone else.  But I also have a soul to feed, and I don’t want to live my life as a wage slave.

I have an amazing support structure, starting with my husband, who is an absolute saint.  He’s put up with so much, from my seemingly bottomless craving for all sorts of junk to what he has come to call my ‘tool fetish’.  He’s put up with whinging and moaning, with my lack of motivation, with my inability to pick a direction and just move. Without him, I would probably be living in a cardboard box under the river bridge.  Thank you, my love, for believing in me.  And for indulging me while I find my way.  I could not do it without you.

I have other friends and family who deserve thanks as well, and they know who they are.   I owe all of you my gratitude and humble thanks.  I am truly blessed in this regard.  My chosen family is made of awesome.

Just before I was laid off in February of 2010, a work friend asked about my crafts, “Why aren’t you doing this for a living?”  Her question hit me like a two-by-four in the side of the head.  I had no good answer for her.  I mean, I had answers, but none of them good ones.  None of them felt like a reason.  They all felt like excuses.

“The thing in your hands will never look like the thing in your head.” ~Amanda Palmer
I’ve always been one to linger in the learning phase far too long.  Learning is easy.  You never have to get it right.  Well, art isn’t about perfection.  And the quest for perfection is the easiest way to prevent yourself from moving forward.  I know that.  I’ve always known that.  It’s the application of that knowledge that seems to elude me.

And when it comes down to bare bones, it’s about fear.  Fear of letting go.   Fear of getting it wrong.  Fear of disappointment.  Along with this friend’s question, another quote found me. 

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house.  I would like to see you living in better conditions.”  ~Hafiz.
I would like to be living in better conditions.  I’ve been too comfortable in the learning phase.  I need to push beyond that, now more than ever.   There will be rough days, days when the voice of doubt is loud and ugly in my ear.  But there will be good days, when the magic happens.   I just have to let go and let it come.

So enter foulbitten, and another tilt at the windmill.  It’s October and the days are getting short.  I have magic flowing in my veins.  Time to let fly.


Lynn Hatfield hosts the fickle muse behind Foulbitten.  She currently resides in Ventura, California with her husband and three cats, though her mind is often traversing strange and distant lands, somewhere between the wilds of archive.org and Apex Electronics.   If you need to reach her, you can contact her here.


  1. Can I just say, “w00t!!!” ?!?!

    • Absolutely. Goddess knows I am.

  2. Yes, yes, and yes.