It takes three weeks to form a new habit, apparently — 21 days, if it’s something simple. My days are already worse when I have to skip my index card art, and I’m also starting to get antsy if that’s all the art I make. Last night I started a comic without having any idea what it would be about. I just drew the frames and wrote the captions, and it felt great. (Now I just have to color it in. Leaving things half-finished is the easiest way to fall off the wagon!)
One unanticipated wrinkle in this whole morning ritual is actually how happy it makes me. Since I’m a freelancer, I do have the ability to set my own schedule and priorities, and since I’ve been in therapy for most of the past seven years, I’ve been working on letting go of guilt for working on my own life rather than squeezing it into the margins. When I hang out with very busy or harried friends with bad commutes, bad office experiences or just bad stress, it’s hard not to internalize the idea that somehow I’m cheating at this “being an adult” thing. I live in New York City, much to my surprise — shouldn’t I be more ground down with the hustle?
I have lived that life, though, and I’m still recovering from it. It’s not a status symbol, and I find it deeply destructive on every possible level. This isn’t something I want to ~fight from the inside any more. My dear friend Willow and I both yelled happily about this very question at each other recently; she creates the marvelous (and award-winning!) podcast Out There, and has just introduced an advice feature called “The Nature Fix.” This question of whether you should feel bad about stepping out of the rat race is the first thing she addresses.
So, I’m going to keep rolling in this direction. I like the person it helps me be, and I can already see where I’m trying to challenge myself and grow, even if only in a 3-inch by 5-inch space. After a long time trying desperately to live on other people’s approval, it’s lovely to do something purely for myself and then share it.
Here’s this batch of weird fun and feelings:
If you want to watch these come out day by day, here’s the Twitter thread where they all live. Thanks for stopping by, and catch you on the flip side!