Year One: I found a Tree.
It’s that moment you notice something beautiful in your yard you have overlooked for months. Or that song you’ve sung for years and suddenly have a revelation about. I could write a big long post trying to explain the impact of the moment I had this morning, but it would not feel the same for you. So in an effort to not drag you into a years’ worth of back and forth, I am just going to share with you a moment of light in my life today.
Today, I feel really proud of myself. And let me tell you, that does NOT happen often. I often look to others to validate what I’m feeling before I let myself feel proud about something. “How was that?” is asked before I let myself feel happy with my performance on anything. But today, I don’t need that – and that’s big for me. Today I’ve decided to celebrate Growth AND the fact that I was able to recognize it without validation.
This little moment where I recognized the growth and teared up in my office was immediately met with the realization that I am allowing way too much real estate in my brain be taken up with terrible self-doubt. I can’t tell you how many time in the last year I have let myself feel ‘less than’. Allowed myself to believe I am not good enough, smart enough, talented enough to do something I love…..and yet…….I have. Just last night, I did some heavy self ass kicking on why I am not ‘smart’ enough to have made it farther as an artist. Then came the morning…..
I did not remember that today is the one year anniversary of my first print. Maybe this sounds like nothing to you, but there are months and months of sad baggage attached to the simple action of getting out of my creative comfort zone and just trying something new. It was a cry for help in a creative way, looking for a way out of some frustration I was feeling. My previous outlets were no longer cutting it. So I dove in, head first, damn the critics in my head. And here’s what happened:
I taught myself to be a block printer. No classes or instructors, just the internet, a couple books and a million mistakes.
I taught myself to be a textile designer.
I made some pretty frickin great fabric, prints and finished pieces.
I created a beautiful studio.
I tried my hands at pattern making and silk screening.
I learned SO much.
I met new people that helped me start a small business.
I created my own Website, Blog, online store and social Media Accounts.
I have sold my art in a quilt shop in New Orleans, of which I had no prior connection to or friendship with AND have never visited.
I taught people to carve and print and fall in love with this craft.
I got a new job and continued to work full time and be a full time mom.
I sold and moved my family 1000 miles north.
I ALLOWED myself to be an artist. Not just a hobbyist or an art enthusiast.
I set up an appointment to have my art sold in another local shop in Maine.
I fell so deeply in love with this medium that if feels ingrained in me, part of my DNA. I let it make me happy.
All of this flooded my brain in one little moment while sipping coffee and reading emails this morning, overwhelming me. Ironically my first print is framed and hanging right in front of me in my office, and was staring me in the face the entire time. The above list started running through my head. None was perfect and much was messy, but it was growth. Many people, especially my husband and kids, helped me along the way: I am not a one man band. But how many times did I think I was failing? And in reality I was growing….. and for a moment today, I did not allow myself to get overwhelmed by the forest in front of me. By all the what-ifs and insecurities. Instead, I saw the beautiful, single tree I grew this past year. I let myself be proud of how much ass kicking I have done in that short period of time. God is good. On to year two….