Desire

An intangible gift.

An intangible gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

An intangible gift. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

My fear is that I sit just outside of really talented at anything.

That I’m ok.

Adequate.

While others are gifted and inspiring.

I am afraid that I am destined for a life of mediocre.

I’d really like to be able to see through this. To see this for what it is…

But what is it?

It is a desire to have a natural, technical gift and to have honed that gift to a point of excellence.

What would having this kind of gift mean? What do I think it would give me?

I want to say ‘recognition’, I want to put this desire down to a need to be liked, a need to be celebrated by others…validated, but that’s not it. That’s not what I feel when I think of having this kind of gift.

I feel ‘freedom’. I am searching for the ability to use this ‘gift’ to make things.

At the moment I have music in my head. The ability to create music. To sit at the piano and play and sing, to create something from nothing.

I think I do have a gift. It’s just not so tangible. Which confuses me, I think.

Insight.

I think I have an ability to look at something and see the fabric of beliefs and ideas and history and story that is making that thing be the way that it is.

Then, I respond to that fabric.

I draw on my creative skills, as they are, to question, to challenge, to reflect…to imagine something new in the hope that we can see the fabric and choose how we want it to look in the future.

It seems like such an intangible gift.

I don’t think that makes it less valuable.

There’s something else.

I’m a dedicated craftsperson. I love learning. I have an ability to hone my skills. Then, when I respond creatively to some insight I’ve had, I have the tools at the ready to create.

The other day, at the gym, a friend said to me they wished they had lean muscle, rather than the bulky kind. I laughed…because they have the kind of body that most people at the gym are desperately looking to have.

I laughed because humans tend to do this. Or, at least, I certainly do this.

I look at the world and find the opposite of what I have and decide that that, that thing that I am not, is the most desirable thing to be in the world.

That if I only had that, then I would be happier and more creative and more special and unique and…everything, you know?

This is crap, though.

Really, it is crap.

The people I admire become distinct and interesting and beautiful because they take exactly what they have and amplify that.

Spending energy on a desire to be something else is a way of avoiding doing the work it takes to amplify what I’ve got.

It may also be a way of avoiding taking the risk of being seen, really seen, for what I am.

This is where it comes back to external validation.

My experience is that people living in their ‘gift’, whatever that may be, are not liked by everyone. Being liked by everyone is impossible and unlikely. The pursuit of this dubious goals is also likely to induce a kind of ‘mediocre’ that stifles things.

The unconscious goal of being liked by everyone is incredibly unhelpful to me.

Accepting…no, embracing, that the stuff I make will appeal to the people it is meant to appeal to, that’s where the gold is.

It frees me up.

To use my gifts.

To do something.

Right.

Thanks.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,379

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Holding onto the thread of myself.

Holding onto the thread of myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Holding onto the thread of myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

It is hardest to keep up this daily writing habit during the holidays.

All the edges fray.

I stop shaving.

I get to bed late.

I don’t wake at 6 am.

I don’t get out of bed and sit down and write.

The day becomes a deconstructed series of events that have fewer edges than normal…and I forget.

Why not just stop writing for the holidays?

I’ve thought about that.

I keep writing because it means through periods of rest and regeneration I keep a hold of the thread of myself.

Which I find valuable.

And comforting.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,316

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Grab the baton and run.

Grab the baton and run. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Grab the baton and run. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I remember running relays when I was a kid.

I don’t think I was particularly good at it or anything…but I really liked that feeling of someone running towards me with the baton, my only job was to be ready to grab the baton, run and then cleanly hand that baton on to the next person.

Any double guessing or mucking around at the moment the baton was coming towards me was futile and, quite possibly, a dangerous distraction.

Just be ready, run in rhythm with the person carrying the baton, reach back and grab that baton and run.

Right now, I think I might benefit from this approach in my life.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,284

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A little slower.

A little slower. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A little slower. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’d like to look forward and plan my next few months a little better.

Specifically, I’d like to look at the time that I have more control over and make some choices about what I want to do with that time.

I have this picture of sitting and sewing as I listen to stories.

Simple really.

I think it requires me to take the foot of the accelerator a little though to make it happen.

It’s been a big start to the year.

I think taking things a little slower would be nice right now.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,277

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The thing I think I need to look at.

The thing I think I need to look at. Drawing Luke Hockley.

The thing I think I need to look at. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The thing I think I need to look at is not necessarily the thing I need to look at.

Because sometimes looking very hard at the thing I think I need to look at is just a way for me to get better at worrying about the thing I think I need to look at.

At these times, I’ve learnt, the healthiest thing to do is to look at something else. Almost anything else will do.

Then the thing I think I need to look at can have a bit of time outside the spotlight to sort itself out and work out whether it really, actually, needs to be looked at.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,271

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Nebulous and sharp.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Life is fleeting.

The edges and shape of it are blurry and ill defined.

It is painful and joyful.

All at once.

Generous and selfish.

At the same time.

A moment crystallises and then evaporates.

Nebulous and sharp.

What next, then.

What next?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,260

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Every precious moment.

Every precious moment. Drawing Luke Hockley

Every precious moment. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I know, I know it is such an outrageous cliché…but at the moment I am intensely aware of every precious moment that I have.

I’m curious about how to both be light and not let anything slip through my fingers.

How to experience everything, but not strangle it with a focus that is too intense.

Life is a gift. I want to experience that gift, but not spend nights sleepless around what I am experiencing.

There is something important going on for me about living it to the full in the day time and then sleeping soundly each evening.

I sleep much better than I used to. But I notice that when I am deep in a new adventure, when I am learning and discovering something about the world and how I want to be in it, that I can get restless at night.

I’d like to live my life to its edges. Which means hitting the pillow and sleeping soundly.

I think that’s my new goal.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,246

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How do I succeed?

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

How do I succeed?

What are the ways I behave, the responses I have, when I am successful?

What do I even mean by successful?

That’s probably a better place to start!

I am successful when I am able to realise some vision I have had whilst being well in myself, growing my ability to be a good human, being kind and supporting those I am working with to do and have the same experiences.

Well, that kind of answers it. My behaviours and responses are all in there. How I succeed is as important as the thing I succeed at.

Ok, I should have seen that coming. That is pretty obvious to me now.

Not so easy to remember when I am in the throes of trying to get something done.

Also, though, quite simple.

Be kind, take care of myself and the people around me, always look for the opportunity to be a good human.

Righto, I can do that.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,245

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I use the internet to avoid myself.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I use the internet to avoid myself.

I just did it then.

Endless clicking and searching, anything really, just so that I don’t have to turn up to this conversation with myself.

That’s why having this moment locked in is so great.

There is somewhere to come back to.

Something I can use as a reference point.

An agreed point of reflection.

And so…

I come back.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,207

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Resolution.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Resolution. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I just want everything resolved without doing any of the work.

Is that too much to ask?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,196

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.