“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck
I did not paint or draw for over seven straight years, even though I longed to express myself. Suppressing my creativity led me into a spiral of anxiety and depression that lasted over a decade. A decade were I’m missing large fragments of memory.
Although my art could not save me from a troubled upbringing, I credit art with keeping me out of a good deal of trouble in my adolescence. This was because I excelled at art. Art gave me a goal to strive towards and a focus away from mischief because I had big plans.
But five years of art school later, and after a troubled marriage, I abandoned art. A familiar choice among those creatives who need to “get practical.”
It took a chance meeting with two advanced breast cancer survivors, one my age, to remind me that life is short. Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “You may delay, but time will not.”
One of these women was named Angela. She was my age. Angela longed to be an interior designer. But she and I sat stuck in our cubicles wishing for something else. I looked at her one day and said, “You’ve dodged death. Go do it!” She resisted and gave me a list of reasons why she could not become an interior designer.
What is life for but to become fully self-expressed? That doesn’t mean that one’s self-expression should be an entrepreneurial endeavor. But when its possible to earn a good living from one’s self expression, its incredibly satisfying.
I think that the truth of the quote by Peck explains why I procrastinated. It was a painful lesson but maybe I learned it so that I could encourage others to seize the day and to honor my memory of Angela.