The first step

The First Step To Everything

the first step by Michael Carini
I've created thousands of paintings across my lifetime & career and one key step continues to be the the most difficult...the first...that first little brushstroke that sets the tone for everything to follow. No matter how many tens of thousands of hours I build up in experience and no matter how much "success" I obtain, that step just doesn't seem to get any easier. The insecurities are still alive and well, perhaps even more so as I often reflect upon whether my best work is behind me or if I will ever live up to mounting expectations...those of this external world or even more difficult to reach, my own internal expectations which call out to me relentlessly in moments of solitude that simply can't be escaped. There are 24 hours in a day and unless you are constantly distracting yourself, some of that time is inevitably going to be face to face with a mirror that refuses to tell you anything but the cold hard truth. Spending more and more time with that mirror these last six months, it's almost as if, with knowledge and experience, that first step grows even more difficult for me somehow. It's like a giant leap now instead of a single step and I just can't seem to see what's right in front of me through the haze. So how do you take that step? Well, the answer may just lie within the question...You have to take it.
When I'm struggling to take that first step, I have to remind myself that I'm in competition with nobody but myself. I'm just a person sharing a story, and there is no right or wrong. There is only my truth and whether or not I choose to tell it, share it, and exhibit for the world to see and judge. I also have to think about how I could die tomorrow and if I don't tell my story, it may never be told or told the way I want it to be told. I write my story because this is my life. Don't allow someone else to write your story for you.
Sometimes life is uncomfortable but nothing beautiful, nothing amazing ever comes from comfort. Because there is no promise of tomorrow, I have to take the first matter how difficult it may be and even if I have to do so in blind faith. Faith and hope can be powerful tools and are often the only ones that keep me going. By taking that first step, you show others the value and importance of taking that risk. You just never know what may be on the other side of your fear...but it may be greatness. Don't you want to find out? You also never know who may be watching. That step may be for you, it may be for someone else...regardless, you must take it. You must take that step or you risk living an unfulfilled life never knowing...never knowing what if? This is my first step to the next first step. Now it's time to take yours.
This next step is yours-
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