I am a finalist in an internationally judged photography competition. I have been accepted to hang one of my photos in a gallery in New York like some kind of artist or something. I have had like 5 anxiety attacks about all of this.
It feels so strange to have such a viscerally negative reaction to achieving something I have been working toward for the last 5 years. Why brain? Why panic over something going right?
I am aware that me working away in my tiny basement apartment in DC feels safe, showing my art to my online community of amazing cheer leaders feels safe. Me taking my art to Man-fucking-hatten to let a bunch of big wig artist appraise it, as I attempt to make small talk and simultaneously do my damnedest to act like this is totally something I do all the time does NOT FEEL SAFE.
Thus my brain is perfectly happy to try and sabotage my plans by making me freak out a little or a lot each step of the way.
Action plan: I am aware that this is something good for my career as a fine art photographer. I understand that I might have a few mini meltdowns along the way. I am determined to make this sort of Gallery experience feel like old hat by applying for more grants, artist residencies, and shows thus inevitably winning some of them and learning to rock the fine artist suave manner. For now I might freak out online a little bit over the next month if y’all don’t mind.