Redefining Success

Success has gained a new meaning for me. I printed off the word ‘success’ and posted it up in my hallway over my desk. I now see success every time I get up. When something deters you from taking a course of action, then taking at least one step in that direction is success. Creating small habits that will allow you to tackle bigger projects, ideas and issues is success. Communicating when you want to shut down is success. Retaining your memories instead of feeling ashamed and trying to forget is success.

During my college years I was in a destructive relationship and I was really ill when it finished. That experience became part of my work and I took positive steps to reframe what I had experienced. I focused on making work that helped me to see how beautiful the world is, how important faith and hope are. I put myself through college and when I completed the course I was able to apply for university and move on. That was my idea of success. Once I had started university I realised I couldn’t quite understand how I had done the work that I had, I couldn’t seem to repeat what I had created. I looked at other subjects but that feeling that I no longer felt the world was beautiful, that I no longer had hope or faith and I needed to do something else marred everything I was doing. I didn’t feel successful despite being at university and having a job. Maybe it was everything else that was going on but an important aspect of living in the world in feeling that you are able to succeed, to contribute, to be positive.

Consciousness is in part defined by our awareness, but we can not be conscious at all times of how everything we are experiencing fits together. When we try to understand someone else’s experiences we are just as limited. Within those limitations, however, we can achieve a lot. Art communicates, mediates, expresses and draws upon our consciousness.

I have spent a great deal of time searching for ideas and concepts that would aid me in understanding why I was experiencing the world the way that I was and what I could do about it. I found articles, books, films, art and music that provided part of the answer. Now when I write or draw or paint or sew or speak – I understand that in all likely hood someone might be experiencing the same thing I was. I speak to them even if they’re not in the same space as me because I know others have created in the same way.

We are having a general election here in the UK and it is a pivotal moment for the whole country. I will be voting for Labour on the 12th December. The general election will shape our country for us and for future generations. I don’t mind saying that I am praying.

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