Friday, December 9, 2011
This was a slow moment at my 1st Banana Factory First Friday event a week ago. For three hours my studio was packed with friends, strangers, neighbors, Artsquest staff and fellow resident artists. This was the only moment I was able to pull away to snap a shot - I'm hoping someone else took a few.
I was hugged, kissed, toasted, and loved exactly like I had visualized long before it became reality- yet at the same time, it all felt as if it were happening to someone else. A week later, it still feels as though it happened to someone else, especially when I receive additional compliments. (I feel like I'm coming apart at the edges.) Surely these can't all be for me?
From the age of 16 until almost 40, I worked three different jobs- each because I applied and then they hired me. Looking at people leading creative lives, it never occurred to me that could be an option - ESPECIALLY since I didn't have any kind of formal training in the arts, because you have to have that, right? I mean, I didn't even have a high school diploma until I was 40 and though I always knew I was intelligent, was fully convinced I was lacking the necessary tools to create my own reality.
And then there was the relentless banter that ran through my monkey mind... that I wasn't good enough. That I quit everything. That I am a brat, a pest, ugly, beat, annoying. That I am overbearing. That I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I'm too emotional. That all I care about is me. What good are all those doodles? The grass isn't always greener on the other side. These are all real things I have been told at some point in my life and sadly, many of them became firmly lodged into my belief system and there was this woman/girl always trying to do the best she could but like a bird with a broken wing, could only get so far before realizing it just wasn't possible.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm just not used to getting (so much) positive feedback directly related to my personal actions. All of the positive messages I put out to the world through my art, my writing, my teachings - I believe it all whole-heartedly and it feels so good when I put it out to the world but apparently for me, it's much, much easier to give then receive because I don't know what to do with it. (cracks are starting to appear)
They say that you can't recognize a quality in another unless you know it within yourself - and that's what this is like. I can't understand, don't know how to feel. So I think I may have put a wall up to keep myself from having it all go to my head and also to keep me from completely falling apart. I sit in my studio and I still can't believe it. I manifested an art studio in the premier space in the whole of the Lehigh Valley. Who the hell am I? I just do these silly doodles... (Deep breath) I look around and worry that they made a mistake - that they will discover me to be a fraud. THAT THEY ARE ALL GOING TO LAUGH AT ME - or, that I will somehow be punished for my actions. Like the time my art was stolen in high school. (Twice) Or when Mom took one look at the Play Doh mess that Jeanette and I had created, gathered it all up, then threw it in the trash.
Oh man... I really, really want to break down and cry. I want to break down the wall and cry my eyes out with joy and with pride and with a sense of brilliant accomplishment because I have worked my ASS off for the last (42) seven years of my life - working to FINALLY re-discover a sense of self that had been buried, (never permitted to develop) abandoned, discarded, shut down... you name it. She is FREE and new parts of her (Me!) are awakening every day.
So how did this all really happen? It started by allowing myself to be open. By seeking out a safe environment filled with like-minded friends. By letting go of habits, patterns, material items and relationships that were no longer serving me. By ripping apart EVERYTHING I ever believed in and examining it under a microscope and discarding 92.5% of what I had known to be true about myself and the world. (My world is one of abundance!) And by re-creating it in a way that served ME first and foremost because I deserve it - you deserve it. WE ALL DESERVE IT.
Has it been easy? Oh dear God no. It's been excruciating at times- like someone is peeling your skin off. (Over & over & over.) But with each layer I shed comes new perspective and wisdom - AND I become less and less afraid of taking the bull by the horns and riding it MY WAY.
From my own experiences: If you feel like your current situation isn't what you really want, your gut IS trying to tell you something. If you know you want something but are for some reason unable to move towards it, chances are it's you and your pile of fears that are in the way. Lastly, if you believe that your ability to achieve happiness is contingent on someone else's actions or behaviors... it ain't ever going to work.
(Hoping to get back in touch with my emotions very soon... I feel numb. I want to feel gratitude)