Shakespeare may have been the first to immortalize that line, but throughout history and until the end of time, people have struggled and will struggle with this one.
I have never fit it..and most of my life, that was a hurt that wouldn’t go away. Sure, I tried to fit in (wearing leg warmers -Yes, I admit it – don’t judge, it was the 80’s, watching NASCAR for a boy that I liked – I’ll never forgive myself for that one) and drinking Boones Farm Strawberry behind the American Legion), but I always seemed to fall short. I hovered around the fringe of fitting in. I was a cheerleader, so, by association, my “crowd” was the “in crowd”..but while I was with that crowd, I never developed true friendships with those in that crowd. I never exactly fit in.
We, as humans, try to conform and not stand out. We wear what the “experts” say is in style and go to the places that the “in crowd” goes to.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that I’ve allowed myself to be me. I’ve learned the hard way that trying to fit in is a slow death to self. Why do I want to be like six million other women when God made me perfect the way I am? I don’t mean perfect as in beach body, never makes mistakes and has a Martha Stewart-esque home. I mean perfect as in that’s just the way he created me: unique, silly, muffin-top and big feet. He created me to be me. Not to be like anyone else and now, I am OK with that.
- I sing (loudly) whenever I fee like it despite the cringing of those around me (my oldest son once told me never to sing in the car with the windows open or I might get a ticket for air pollution) – and I’m ok with that
- I make up songs to sing about everything and even sing to the dogs and cats – and I’m ok with that
- I sometimes go to Wal-Mart without having taken a shower first which means I sport a hellacious form of bed head – and I’m ok with that
- I don’t eat pumpkin pie, ketchup, or any sauces even though people say that makes me “unAmerican” – and I’m ok with that
- I create art: canvases, art journals, altered things and many of them look like a 1st grader did them – and I’m ok with that
- Sometimes I dress to the hilt to go to a local dive bar even though it makes me look like a prostitute – and I’m ok with that
- I forget birthdays and other important things – and I’m ok with that (it doesn’t make me a bad person, just forgetful!)
- I’m 47 and listen to electronic dance music and other age-inappropriate music – and I’m ok with that
- I’ve “twerked” at family gatherings – and I’m ok with that
- I care deeply and often vocally, loudly stand up for people who are treated badly (even once was physically removed from a HS basketball game for telling a few snot-nosed teenagers to cut the crap – I didn’t even have a child on the team)
It’s ok to be who you are. God made you as you for a reason so laugh, sing, dance – even if you are in public (you’ll never see those people again anyway).
To Thine (Mine) Own Self Be True.
Until next time..
The one and only talented Effy Wild is giving away THREE seats her to incredible Book of Days and Moonshine courses. It’s been one hell of a crappified year for me, if you are a reader of my blog then you know I would loooooove, love, luuurve to win one of these spots. I just know how art soothes my soul and calms the beast within. Want to get in on the goodness? Click here..even if you don’t win, you will definitely want to register for these workshops. Effy so rocks!
Join me this year on a journey to the heart through art!
Until next time..
After taking an amazing class with Dyan Reavely in October, I couldn’t wait to practice some of my newly-learned mixed media techniques. This girl was just itching to come out..because, yeah..I’m kind of a nerd.
There are all kinds of “nerds” out there. Dictonary.com defines “nerd” as:
nerd [nurd] noun Slang.
I take issue with the first definition. No one is stuipid, irritating, ineffectual or unattractive all of the time. I’m certainly all of those things some of the time, but not all of the time. If being that way some of the time makes me a nerd, so be it.
The second definition hits home. I’m a bit of a nerd. I love to read and watch kids movies. I’m single-minded and obsessed with a non-social hobby or pursuit: Art.
I completely love Urbandictionary.coms definitions of nerd. My personal favorites are:
Are you a nerd? Can you quote every Star Trek or Star Wars episode or movie? Do computers make your heart pitter-patter? When you get a new pack of scrapbook paper do you have to smell it or lick it? (um, not like I have done that, really..ok..moving on :o)
Does music make you giddy? Can you rattle off statistics on the 1994 superbowl? Do you read everything including the back of the dishwasher tablet package? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then yes, you are a nerd. And, ya know what? That’s a GREAT thing! You are you! You are wonderful and unique and incredible! You have gifts that others may not appreciate, but they make YOU happy and that, my friends is all that truly matters.
Keep on being you today. Embrace you. Embrace what makes you YOU.
And just cuz, well, nerds rule..here are a few quotes about nerds to empower you today:
“If you like nerds, raise your hand. If you don’t, raise your standards.”
― Violet Haberdasher
“Nerd. One whose unbridled passion for something, or things, defines who they are as a person, without fear of other people’s judgement.”
― Zachary Levi
“Gentleman, nerd girls are the world’s greatest under-utilized romantic resource. And guys do not tell me that nerd girls aren’t hot because that shows a Paris Hilton-esque failure to understand hotness.”
― John Green
Until next time…
A few weeks ago, I purchased the Tamara LaPorte (Williwing.org) Mini-workshop: A Christmas Whimsy. I started it and then stopped. I was frustrated that the canvas wasn’t turning out the way that Tam’s was. Yesterday, I went back to it with a new attitude. It’s ok to be me. It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok that my canvas does not look like hers! We have different styles, and gifts.
That’s a lesson that I’ve been trying to teach myself lately. That it is OK:
OK to be a little weird
OK not to be liked by everyone
OK that my art looks different
OK that things aren’t perfect
OK to be me.
It may seem like a simple lesson, but, trust me. It has not been an easy one for me. I have always been held up to standards that I couldn’t measure up to. I’ve always done things just a little bit different and then felt like such a failure for not coming through. It’s a large reason why I don’t talk much to my mother’s side of the family anymore. I’m not them. I don’t do things like them and I was always being berrated for it. A few years ago, I made peace with that and starting living my own life..but again, I fell short. I didn’t practice this new-found belief in other areas of my life: the house, my work, my relationships with others. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been able to let go and be at peace with being me and being different. Things don’t have to be perfect..they just have to be perfect for me and that is OK.
Until next time..
Earlier this week, I wrote about making my way through the Leonie Dawson “Create Your Amazing Year Life and Biz Workbooks and Calendars”. For the past several nights, I hunkered down on the couch with a pen and pencil, my blankets and pillows and my puppies and started making my way through them. It is an AMAZING experience..just to go through and identify what you love about yourself, what you want to say goodbye to, what big and small dreams you have for yourself and then go about planning on making them happen! It’s such a beautiful feeling and one that gives me such hope.
Each year, I make resolutions that I, invariably, break by mid-January. What’s the difference this year? I have a PLAN to make them happen and dammit, I WILL make them happen!
One of the exercises in the workbook is to make a “To Do” book..where you will write your goals and dreams and the lists and plans to make them happen. I am a list-maker. Always have been. I am even guilty of writing things down on the list that I’ve already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off! (come on, you know you do it, too!). This method works perfectly for me.
Of course the artist in me refused to use a plain notebook so…I broke out the gesso, spray inks, acrylic paint, stencils, modeling paste and glass bead paste and went to town. I created the cover in a grunge-like mixed media form. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to get my dreams and lists inside that baby.
One of the exercises in the book that I just loved doing was the list of 100 things I want to do this year. They can be silly, serious, creative – anything! Some of the items on my list (I’ve only written 39, so far) are:
Take ballroom dance lessons
Build a firepit
Send 52 cards
Learn to make cabbage rolls
Get a tattoo
Some of them are more serious:
Get house repairs done
Get new life insurance
Save X amount of money
But all of them are mine and soon I’ll have a plan to achieve them all. It’s ok, if they all don’t happen..that’s life..but most will because I want them, I have a plan and they will make me a better me. If you have big or small resolutions this year – whether you make them and break them right away or whether you have never made them – GET THIS WORKBOOK! You will get happy pants just from doing the exercises!
Until next time..
Last night, I had the urge to paint – just a tug at my heart to create a small canvas. The canvas front is a small whimsical girl with a bird whispering in her ear. I imagine that the bird is telling her to dream big and grow wings to make those dreams come true. It’s far from my best work, but it is from the heart and isn’t that what art is – speaking from the heart?
Although, you have to look to see the sides (as it is a deep canvas), I felt drawn to paint them, too. In dreams and in life, you often have to look deeper than the surface.The sides are glass bead gel with purple acrylic paint through a stencil and then sprayed with Dylusions Spray. Colorful, full of texture — that describes my dreams for 2014 and beyond.
A few years ago, a former co-worker introduced me to Rumi, one of the most influential Persian poets of the 13th century. His words speak to me on a deep level (Rumi’s words, not the co-worker, although he was a pretty neat guy, too) and I often find myself reading his words when I am going through a rough patch (or even a happy patch!).
The below quotes by Rumi encourage and inspire me to dream and work to make those dreams come true.
When I was a little girl, my big dream was to be an author. I pictured myself in a little cottage with a white picket fence on Nantucket Island (off the Massachusets coast) writing my days away. I imagined sipping coffee while looking over the water.
I loved to read (still do) and write (a bit rusty there now). I would write poetry, plays and short stories, but life has a way of taking it’s own course. I never did move to Nantucket or become an author, yet….
Many years later, I live about as far from a coast as you can in the US (in North Central Missouri)..but I’m writing this while sipping my coffee looking over our lake. One of my big dreams for 2014 is to write a book. Ok, it may be an e-book, but it is a book and I WILL write it this year. It’s never too late to go for those dreams. They may not take the same shape or form as the dreams you originally birthed, but they are out there for your reaching and it is NEVER too late.
What dreams do you hold in your heart? To open a business? To get paid for your art work? To write a book? Nurture those dreams. Write them down. Share your dream with friends and family. And then..make a plan to reach them. You will never regret having the courage to reach for your dreams..you will only have regrets if you never do.
Until next time..