I have been doing some serious reality checks lately and noticing that I do a lot of stuff (or rather, don't do a lot of stuff) out of big ol' plain FEAR. Holding back for fear of looking stupid, or untalented, or ridiculous, or girlie, or dull, etc.
I'm afraid of what people will think of me. Gasp! What if someone hates me?!?!
I also do a TON of negative self talk... which jen kicked to the curb inspirationally recently. A TON. Like. All. The. Time. And it's hard to stop when that stone is already rolling down the hill. You know?
So I've been checking myself (before I wreck myself) lately... pushing my tushie off the cliff to face the fear head on. I've been thinking a lot of seemingly morbid thoughts about death and how inevitable that is... so why the hell not live it up (responsibly, mind you. No one is jumping in front of buses or wracking up massive amounts of debt here.) We're all gonna die anyway. So why not have some fun... stick our necks out... be okay with some dirty looks... live a juicy life along the way?
Live according to your own rules. And heck, pack it full of pleasure if you can!
I've noticed that I'm so afraid that I often turn down things that might possibly be a smidge enjoyable because I'm afraid I'll be awkward. That I won't be myself because I'm afraid someone will think I'm an idiot.
So I've been making an effort to say YES lately. Yes to anything that might possibly be fun. (taking a risk that it could suck royally, but that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes). So I started by inviting a girl in my city out for a riverwalk one day. And I talked her ear off for over an hour out of nervousness. And surprisingly, she asked me do something another time... which we did and it was FUN. She speaks my language! We're even going to a stitch n' bitch thing tomorrow night and I don't even know how to knit! (How's that for facing some fear?)
Today I had lunch with a gallery/shoppe owner here in Columbia and I was way nervous. I strapped on my bright fuschia power boots (with fringe!) for extra luck/extra "me-ness". And it turned out to be the most charming afternoon. We ate lunch on the front porch of her shop and she was such a cool lady... full of funny phrases and talks of travel. I went back to her house (the cutest New Orleans style house with overgrown plants and archways!) where she showed me her drawings and dream collages. She talked to me about how the universe has worked for her... And i left feeling so big! so inspired! so... warm.
(Lunch with strangers... I Never would have done that before.)
Yes! also to an email I got recently asking me to be a teacher at an upcoming art retreat thingie (I don't think I'm allowed to spill the beans yet, but y'all are invited!)... and I was overcome with tenseness and anxiety about it (which I took as my sign to say yes) but said the big Yes anyway. Yes to teaching for the first time. Yes to leading creative folks like yourselves in some art-fun-inspirational workshops for three days. Yes to meeting some of you face to face and potentially having you think I'm human (I so totally am, I promise).
This yes thing is not easy. It feels very against my nature to be social and reach out. (I am a rock, right?!) This morning I sat on my meditation blanket and lit, for the first time, my Be Bodacious and Playfulness candles (click on those and read the quotes. amazing.) that I bought -- and I just closed my eyes and thought:
I do not have to live up to these pre-conceived notions of who I am in my head. I can forge new paths RIGHT NOW. I can be who I want to be, even if that person is inconsistent, and even contradictory. Maybe i am those things... nah-nah-nah-nuh-boo boo.
I told my friend Evan once:
"I AM MY OWN CREATURE."
And then I started my own business and started caring too much what people thought and started questioning everything about myself. And my art. And my self-worth... And I'm really ready to get back on the horse.
I am my own creature. And I'm facing these dark holes. Adios. I don't need you anymore holey.