I hunt everywhere for a life worth living and a knowledge worth knowing.
I landed on this special curve in one’s youth when you graduate from university, quit a job, leave a country and your friends behind and jump — straight into a cold, deep water. In my case, I landed safe and sound back in Spain, following my intuition more than any other rational argumentation.
I felt anxiety. I am not going to deny it; I was freaking terrified once I arrived. People ask you what are you going to do now that you are free and you are trying to rephrase the fact that you have actually no idea. Or that you have many small, vague, contradictory ideas. Both not such a good answer.
Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I wanted. I have longed so much for this freedom. However, it is as glorious as scary, and you tend to fall into this uncertainty cave from time to time.
I am used to going to Creative Mornings (if you do not know it, it is a global community that organizes a morning meetup once a month in most of the big cities worldwide), so the first thing that I have done here was to go to a Creative Morning as well. The topic was ‘anxiety’. What I learned is that it is completely human to feel anxious.
We feel anxious when we do not know what is going to happen. When we do not know what is going to happen, we start questioning who we are. What I realized, is that if you manage to fill this space with creativity and art, it is much easier to put your puzzles slowly back together. You can use your anxiety in order to create stuff, to write, to paint, to make music. This is where art has this magic capacity of making sense out of many scattered pieces.
“There are so many things that art can’t do. It can’t bring the dead back to life, it can’t mend arguments between friends, or halt the pace of climate change. All the same, it does have some extraordinary functions, some odd negotiating ability between people, including people who never meet and yet who infiltrate each other’s lives. It does have a capacity to create intimacy; it does have a way of healing wounds, and better yet of making it apparent that not all wounds need healing and not all scars are ugly.”
It’s all right if you are still searching and making mistakes. If you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, pushing yourself, changing the world. You’re doing things you have never done before and most importantly, you’re doing something different.
Although you may feel anxious, keep trying, and keep making new mistakes. Make fascinating, amazing mistakes. Don’t let your anxiety freeze you, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work, or family, or just life.
Although you may not have all the answers you wish you had, you still can, and must, go forward. I personally believe that it is much better to be searching, finding, failing, and searching again than to settle for something that is not what you want. Freedom is big, overwhelming, and scary, but it’s by far the biggest luxury that you can allow yourself to have.
*This article was originally posted on Medium in the Post-Gradual Survival Guide: Here