Let's Talk About the Struggle

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© Mariah Texidor

I am halfway through watching this interview with Marie Folio and Todd Henry about finding your voice, and I became inspired to write about one of the topics they discuss.


Something the author said struck me so hard, it was as if I walked into a glass door. You know its there, but it’s so clear you walk right into it? Yeah, that way. Like those crows in the Windex commercials.


There is so much content on the Internet, it is so incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we should be reading or listening to. I am totally guilty of feeling this unnecessary pressure to get through my ever growing list of “Things to Read”.


Something I am finding that all of this content has in common, which is touched upon in that video, is that everyone wants a shortcut or a hack to do a million different things. This really isn’t new, there has always been content about “getting rich quick” or trying to gain skills quickly, perhaps without doing the work. However, I feel it is more present than ever as I am in this fluid and ever-changing stage in adulthood.


I won’t say no one (because I am one), but not many people are talking about the struggle. Not many are talking about the fact that while you made something or accomplished something, it was actually really fucking hard. This is a bit of a problem to me. For one, individuals posting their end result without any mention or acknowledgment of the process, possibly creates this idealistic visionary of sorts to their viewers. This is not to say everything has to be a struggle, because there very well may be things that do come easily to some. Second, this lack of acknowledgment kind of fuels this realization that many of us come across: we can do those things (insert person you admire/say you want to be like) does, but when we try to do it quick and dirty and are unsuccessful, we become disappointed and give up. I remind you, so-and-so person you admire most likely worked really hard to get the attention they are getting now. It probably took a lot of time, trial and error to get where they are.


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© Mariah Texidor

Participating in things like #The100DayProject (my project was #100DaysofFeelingbyMariah) and completing four years of college culminating in my exhibited work,You & I and the Shadow Shelfshowed me the importance of the process as well as the struggle in order to create a body of work I am truly proud of.


Here are somethings I learned and will share with you:

  • Envision how you want the end product to look like. Now accept that it will not look exactly like that. I don’t say it in a negative manner, but things manifest over the creation period. Which leads to my next point…
  • Embrace change. Be malleable, pliable, open, etc. With any content you are creating, listen to it and let it flow.
  • Lastly, share your process. Get feedback, open your mind and hear other people’s opinions. Find groups of people you trust to share your work with. Share your in-progress work to the public, to strangers. It’s okay. Remember to take feedback, suggestions, criticism, and praise all with a grain of salt.
  • I lied, the last thing is to be proud of yourself for doing all of the above :-).


It’s hard to be an open book and let people in on projects when they are not “perfect”, definitely not saying it’s easy. However, it will help you grow. It will attract people who appreciate honesty and vulnerability in potential products/work/pieces they many want to buy or share with their network of friends and family. It will bring to attention that you are human, as most of us are, and it takes many steps along the road to get a final product we are proud of.


I am proud to say that I work each day to show that to get to where I want is no easy stroll in the park, and is indeed a struggle. Some days are better than others, some days worse. That’s my whole shtick, ya know? It’s okay to not be okay. You know that quote, it’s about the journey not the destination? Yeah, that’s basically what I am harping on.


Keep pushing and go on, share your struggle. Tell us your story.


With love and encouragement, 

Mariah


P.S. I finished the interview and it has so much more inspiring content worth writing and thinking about as well. I encourage you to watch it yourself!