|Posted by Barnaby on February 12, 2012 at 8:20 AM|
I've done a lot of things and I've never felt I've broken through that 'Brilliant' barrier on any of them. You know the one. The invisible line which turns something from being 'Good' to 'Brilliant'. So brilliant, in fact, that you could make a career out of it.
This is mainly due to my brain's ability to flit between projects even during doing them. If I have 'success' in one thing, my brain says "Well, you've proved you can do that, on to the next thing!". It's why I get fidgety and, when something seems to be going perfectly well, I want to stop it and go on to the next thing.
However, yesterday was different. Yesterday, I finally realised - away from the layers of self-deprecation and constant putting my work down before someone else does - that I am actually crossing the invisible line. I'm brilliant at...
Let me explain! It takes me three times as much effort as a 'normal' person to realise and achieve projects, due to my condition (M.E.), and takes me that much time again to recover afterwards. So, every little thing I do has repurcussions and drawbacks. I've written theatre plays that have won the odd award, I've performed as an actor to rather good reviews, I taught students who have gained qualifications, I've authored a book that seems to have legs, and I've tried my hand at pretty much everything that is artistic and creative (songwriting, audio productions, voiceover, poetry, drawings, etc). Everything I've done, I've done because I wanted to prove I could do it, regardless of being unwell. Whilst peers and contemporaries have rushed hither and thither, doing things I'd love to be able to do, or getting breaks I couldn't get (simply because I have to turn down so much more than I want to), I've steadily done what I've done without trying to build a career or get myself noticed or attain any level of recognition or fame. I just did it because it made me happy and gave me fleeting moments to forget the limitations of my illness and my life.
I haven't been given a leg-up, or helped in any way. I've always had to carve out opportunities for myself. But, that doesn't stop me constantly passing on work and suggestions for my friends. I often wonder whether I like punishing myself by seeing others do exactly what I can't. It's in my nature to try and help and promote people I know and, even when I'm in a black mood and try to be more selfish, I invariably come across some link or some job that I can't stop myself passing on.
So, I perservere. That's what I do. That's what everyone does. It's life. I can't claim I'm a special case, due to being unwell (as there are millions who are worse off than me). I just realised that I am where I am because of perservering. I hope I can continue to perservere well into the future.