Back and forth, back and forth…
I started mainly video blogging because it was taking less time, but then suddenly it was taking more time than regular blogging. Today I wanted to type instead. It IS nice to be able to just throw my thoughts out there without having to really think about how it’s all composed and put together, but quite frankly it’s also nice sometimes to be able to “say” something and then have the option to just hit the backspace and make it sound better. It’s all a matter of mood and perspective, I suppose.
Today, I’m feeling reflective and philosophical. When I get into those moods, I could talk for hours, just working out my own thoughts, distracting myself from my own point about 100 times along the way. But this is nice. This way (typing instead of talking) everything stays neatly tucked in my own head and I can just stream out a little bit at a time. It helps me feel more organized.
My stereotypical artist brain is chaotic at times even to me. So many connections happening all at once. It makes my creativity breed like bunnies, but normal life often gets lost in the chaos and I’m left suddenly with a pile of things I forgot to do. These are the kinds of things that other people seem to have no problem accomplishing every day without even thinking about it, but me? I have to plan. I have to write down. And, then, without joking, I forget that I planned, wrote down, etc. Or I don’t look at my list. In fact, lists are almost dangerous to me. It seems like somewhere in my mind, if I make a definite plan to take care of something, somehow that equates to it being taken care of, so I check it off of the things whirling in my brain even if it’s not done. It’s on the list. I don’t have to remember anymore because I wrote it down. I feel, at times, like a lesser form of human, a bad mother, a bad wife, or a complete idiot, or a combination of the four. (Sometimes all four at once, depending on just what or how much I forgot.) In these last years, I’ve taken such a huge leap forward in my art, but regular life? Please. I still feel like I need someone to hold my hand and teach me how to do it.
Add to all of this normal me stuff the fact that lately I’ve added in a whole bunch of other things to think about (Not sharing just yet… I’m still warming up to the idea of letting people know. But for me, it’s huge.) and I’m basically a walking oversight waiting to happen. So this morning, I wasn’t going to go to my Bible study at church. I love my church. I love going. But I have so much to do and I wasn’t feeling it and then suddenly I remember just how essential church is to me, and how good I feel when I’ve gone. And so I made the decision to go. And as I prayed and thought and pondered and prayed, suddenly the whisper of a quote I remember came to mind. I had put it on a big sign I made for my class at church because I loved it so much.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
I can’t even express how much I love this quote. It is funny how much we admire what other people have. Like I have quasi-curly hair, and I used to hate it. I used to wish that I had straight hair or totally curly hair. I still wish it were thicker. But in the last several years, I’ve embraced the random chaos that is my hair. From one day to the next, I never know if it will look wavy, curly, or like today’s special at the Roadkill Cafe. But it’s mine. And I’m learning how to make it look the way I want it to look in as natural and unfussy a way as possible. It’s me. It’s what I have. It’s beautiful.
The POINT being this: I focus too much on my inadequacies. Others focus on theirs, too. The more my circle of friends increases, the more shows I do, the more people I meet who know me and recognize my work, the more I hear about how lucky I am to be this talented. I so agree. I LOVE my artistic talents with a fierce love, let me tell you. There is no part of me that doesn’t love them. I guess what I’m trying to say, though, is that there is more than one kind of talent. More than one kind of creativity. I look at people who manage to manage their lives and my jaw just drops. Let the flies move right on in, because I’ll be staring for a while. I can’t get over how incredible I think it is that some people manage to remember to wash their cars more than once every few months. Or, when they do wash their cars, they remember to do the inside, too. Things like that. I am just amazed.
We all have something. Something in us that’s amazing. What I finally learned, as an artist, that finally allowed me to even comfortably refer to myself as an artist, is that what comes most naturally to me is my art. I used to think that if it was an effortless idea, then I needed to try harder. Look at what this person does or that person does… How awesome it is! And my stuff is just so ordinary. People would say, “Oh, that’s gorgeous!” And I’d think, “Well, I just banged it out… no problem.” When “banged it out” meant two or three hours of very concentrated, precise work. But to me, it felt so normal. So common. Nothing special. Then I got hooked up with Tempe Yarn and Fiber and Terry Neal. And the opportunities she gave me suddenly started me seeing that the stuff I liked the most was the stuff that sold the fastest. And it finally started birthing this little understanding in my heart. My normal is my art. That’s why it’s mine, because it’s my normal, and no one else is like me. It wasn’t some snobby conclusion. But I started doing what came most naturally, and suddenly it took off.
I looked up that quote this morning to give myself a boost. What I found was so much more than I bargained for. I had never seen the entire quote, but I’d like to share it here. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. I hope it gives someone else a boost, too.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)
Your normal is your art. Even if it’s just working a real job and regularly washing your car. Someone is watching and being amazed, and you may be surprised at just who it is.