You are not your age, Nor the size of clothes you wear, You are not a weight, Or the colour of your hair. You are not your name, Or the dimples in your cheeks, You are all the books you read, And all the words you speak. You are your croaky morning voice, And the smiles you try to hide, You’re the sweetness in your laughter, And every tear you’ve cried. You’re the songs you sing so loudly, When you know you’re all alone, You’re the places that you’ve been to, And the one that you call home. You’re the things that you believe in, And the people that you love, You’re the photos in your bedroom, And the future you dream of. You’re made of so much beauty, But it seems that you forgot, When you decided that you were defined, By all the things you’re not.
Can you believe it is a New Year’s AGAIN??? Where did 2017 go? Actually, I don’t really care where it went – I just want it gone. It was a pretty dreadful year. Seems like everyone had it tough, in one way or another, and that the Universe was plotting against us by making kooky, crazy, scary and random things happen. To be fair, the Universe does that all the time, but this year it seemed to just say “Ah, to hell with it!’ and just chucked everything it could at us. Probably serves us right – maybe we needed some more wake up calls. Especially me, I always sleep in 🙂
This was, until five seconds ago when I deleted all the text I’d spent ages typing, a very long post about my resolutions for the new year. The usual stuff about losing weight, being more sociable, being a better housekeeper etc. But I am actually feeling that those things are all part of the bigger picture of me just trying to be better than I am now. And the majority of the things I want to change about myself all hinge on one thing, or my lack thereof : bravery.
I’m not very brave. I am basically scared of everything. In some ways, I guess that makes me braver than I think I am, because instead of curling up in my bed and staying there forever (which is what I really want to do pretty much every day lately), I get up and go out into the world. Which is scary for me. Always has been. I don’t understand the world and it doesn’t understand me.
This week was hard. I had to make decisions that were difficult and upsetting and made me feel horrible about myself and my judgements. I don’t like hurting people, but this week I had to do that to someone who was hurting me. And then it made me question whether or not they actually were hurting me, or if my fear and lack of courage was affecting my perception of the situation. But I had to stand up for myself and that was hard. I don’t do it often and it is not a comfortable feeling for me. I am generally more at ease backing down or tolerating things, even if the other person is in the wrong. So instead of feeling good about standing up for myself, I feel horribly sad and guilty and keep wondering if the other person is ok.
I had another situation where I had to be assertive (a man had left his dog in a hot car and he he did not take kindly to me suggesting that he move the car, or preferably the dog, into the shade) and it ended up with me in tears and, frankly, afraid that I was going to get punched in the face. I did not feel victorious or proud of myself. I felt scared and small and again questioned whether I was in the right.
I had to assert myself at work too – in front of a bunch of colleagues – and that was very difficult also. Again, I was in the right, but it felt very wrong to stand there and say “Excuse me, but that is my responsibility I have to ask you to let me handle that”. I ended up apologising to the person afterwards because I felt so rotten about it, even though I was only stating what was true and defending my own job.
So, if I am to pick one resolution for this year, it is to be brave. And to stop apologising for having feelings and opinions and ideas of my own. And to make the hard decisions when I have to, and stand by them. And not let my fear of losing people stop me from standing up for myself and my own needs and values. And, most importantly, to embrace change and not fear it. I feel like this year is going to be a year of change and I have to be ready for that, one way or the other.
So, here’s to bravery and self-belief. And to standing up for what you believe in. And to not letting someone else tell you how you should live your life.
Thank you for reading – Happy New Year to you all. May 2018 bless you with many wonderful experiences, and the courage to embrace them all. Be kind to one another and yourselves this year.
Wasn’t too sure about this one. Possibly because I was working on it at midnight and was half asleep. It’s only a little collage – another 4 x 4 ” box canvas – but had lots of bits and pieces plus the lettering, which went a bit off course and smudged in places (a bit like me at midnight – wonky and smudgy!). I was watching Wife Swap for some unknown reason and there was a crazy religious lady who kept screaming “She’s not a Christian – aaaghghghghgghg!!!” in a voice that suggested she was, in fact, in dire need of an exorcist herself. This may have caused me to craft a bit haphazardly. Who knows? I was just determined to get it done and worry it about it in the morning. This is my new plan – just get it done and stop procrastinating!!!
And, if all else fails, stick a flower or a hat or some wings on it!
Hope you are all well and that life is being kind.
“…My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day. I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day…”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say “Everything is ok and that’s all there is to it…” and then everything would just miraculously be fine and dandy? If only!
This little birdie is standing defiant and saying “No, I will not let things get to me – everything’s ok and I won’t hear any negativity today!” She’s even pulled her crown down over her earholes, just in case. Might as well block out the naysayers and the party-poopers (there are lots of party poopers in the bird world, I’ve heard), and anyone who starts their conversations with “You can’t” or “Yes, but..” will be summarily banished from the nesting box. It’s that simple.
Hope your world is full of positive people today and that your mind is free from worries. If not, just pull your crown on tighter and ignore the heck out of anyone or anything that threatens to rain on your parade.
“…People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where other have not dared to look including inside ourselves…”
I did some very crappy crafting on the weekend. As I said in my previous post, nothing worked out and I was feeling very defeated and useless. I spent hours on one watercolour picture and it was so horrible I wanted to throw it in the bin. I hated it and hated myself. Which is not very conducive to creativity. So, I spent a couple of minutes stamping over the whole damn thing, just to snap myself out of it and get me back on track.
Now I’m not showing you this as an example of excellent craftsmanship or talent – far from it. It’s horrible. But it is an example of picking yourself up and getting your butt back in to gear. Your whiny, self-defeating butt. The one that tells you you’re not good enough and will never amount to anything and that your should never pick up a paintbrush or pen again lest you scare people with your hideous creations.
I’m feeling that awful “time is running out” feeling again at the moment, hence my panic and meltdowns when things don’t go to plan. I want to be good NOW. I want to be able to make a living, or at least part of a living, with my craft. I want to be proud of the things I make, instead of feeling everything is sub-par and not good enough. That I’m not good enough, which is probably more at the core of things.
I saw this on Facebook this weekend and it seemed fitting, given the way I am feeling about myself, right now :
“At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA. At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job. At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made
The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.
Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.
Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.
Never tell yourself you missed your chance.
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.
You can do it. Whatever it is.”
So, maybe, it’s not too late yet. I hope not, anyway. I can only keep trying and not give up. I have to believe that, right now and every other moment, I am enough. I probably need to tattoo that on my forehead, so that I have no choice but to remember it every waking moment. Better to stick with the rubber stamped version for now…
Thank you for stopping by – may your day bring you happiness and success x