The other day I was thinking about the first pottery class I took, which to be honest, wasn't so much a class as it was a bunch of people hanging out after work. I didn't stay at that studio for long. Anyways, as part of the class, you could signup for studio time to practice. I remember the studio monitor approaching me to ask what I was working on. "I'm making a teapot." He scowled and told me I couldn't make a teapot because I was a beginner and they are an advanced project. I don't remember how I responded, but he eventually left me alone and I got back to working on my teapot. I had no delusions I was making the most beautiful teapot, and didn't even know if it would hold water, but it was something I wanted to try, so I did.*
When I decided I wanted to go to college, there was concern about the cost. At no point did my parents tell me it wasn't something I could do, but we didn't really know how to cover the expense. Through student loans, grants, work-study, and family assistance, I knew I would figure it out, and I did. I never felt entitled to get a college education, but I knew it was something I wanted at the time** and wasn't going to let my financial situation stop me from getting one.
And then there's the sentiment it's hard to make a living as a creative. When I decided to move upstate, I heard my share of opinions regarding how hard it was going to be and suggestions to keep one foot in the corporate world. Over the years I've learned to trust my instincts and to shut out the naysayers. I have enough negative voices in my own head without entertaining those of others. From what I've learned so far, it IS hard to make a living off my art, but I have no regrets for going down this path and giving it a try. If it doesn't work out, I trust I will know when it's time to pivot.
If there is something you would like to do or try, don't let anyone tell you you can't. Maybe you want to try your hand at pottery as well, write a book, learn to paint, build a house, or any other number of things. Why not give it a try, you might surprise yourself. Even if you fail, but love it, you can always learn and improve over time. But if you hate it and fail...at least you didn't hold yourself back .
* I made the teapot in the photo, it wasn't the first attempt...that one, well, didn't make it.
** I have lots of conflicting feelings about 4-year college education. I used to think it was necessary and value those 4 years, but in hindsight would have chosen a different path.