I'm reading this book, Artist's Way, to help me with my creative journey. My best friend recommended this book back when I was living in Georgia in response to me saying that I'm not a creative person. I only read the intro and first chapter back then and used the excuse "This is work. I don't have time for all that," for why I put it down and didn't continue.
Fast forward to today when that excuse is null and void. I think it's the perfect book right now to help me during this first quarter. So I dusted off the iBooks app and opened it back up.
One of the first week's tasks is to do a time travel and list 3 enemies of my creative self-worth. I have not listed all 3 just yet, but there is one individual who stands out the most. He is the person who pops into my head every single time I sit down to write. He's the person who makes me think other professors were lying when they complimented my writing. He's the one that makes me suspicious of those close to me when they say they are enjoying my posts. He's the one who conjured up all this self-doubt that I still carry today. He's the one who makes me fearful about hitting "publish" when I finish a post. He's the one who makes me feel like I should go back and re-read 3 more times to make sure it's perfect.
He is Dr. Hayes.
Dr. Hayes is a professor from college that ripped apart an already insecure, young 19 year old that was suffering from impostor syndrome at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University.
He ripped Me apart.
Dr. Hayes with his loud booming voice looked at me and asked, "How did you get into Johns Hopkins University writing like that?" I looked at him and I just took it. He ranted for somewhere around 30-60 minutes, but I walked away from that meeting with only those 11 words. I chalked it up to him just not liking the topic or content that I wrote about. But those words pierced me. Those words, I kept.
I was holding onto those words when a graduate school professor had me stand up along with 3-4 other students in class after she handed papers back, withholding ours. I was holding onto those words when she said, "There is no such thing as an A+ in graduate school, but these individuals standing received one on this assignment." I was holding onto those words when I couldn't even crack a smile in that moment, staring blank faced.
I am still holding onto those words.
So today and every day until I release these words from my grip, I am going to say "Fuck Dr. Hayes. Thank you Dr. M(onahan)."
And I say to you who may be struggling with something similar, to release the enemies of your creative self-worth and hold tight to your champions instead.