for those of you who asked to see it again. here is what I read at the Art-is-You Art Retreat:
I wanted to share with you a little story from a blog post I did last year. I received so many emails and comments about this particular topic that it gave me pause for thought; about how deep down, we humans are really a lot of like. We all go through trials and tribulations. Some more than others. And we all have a story to tell about how we carry ourselves through life.
I begin my story my sharing that last year I rented a u-haul trailer and left New Jersey to make my way to Minneapolis where i was vending at an art retreat. Along the way, I stopped and stay with friends to break up the drive.
As i pulled out my driveway with the trailer attached to my car, I was a little nervous. Okay, i was a lot nervous. I was getting that queasy, knotted stomach feeling. I’m sure you know that feeling. Sure, I've driven across the United States twice alone (and once with a 14 month old baby), but I'd never pulled a trailer before. It seemed a little intimidating to me. And I’m rarely intimidated by things. there are things that I use to do without a thought as a younger girl, that now that i am older, i spend more time questioning “what i am doing and even wondering, “can i do this"? i'm not sure why or when we start to question ourselves now that we are older. but I see it again and again with other women too.
Is it because society confines us to certain rules and we get caught up thinking that we can't wear something because magazines say that "at this age, you should be dressing like this or wear your hair like that"? or is it because other people look at you and say "wow, you are crazy, i'd never do that". I do believe that society puts pressure on us to behave in a certain way and it is easy to buy into that way of thinking.
We were going to do some practicing with the trailer before we left. Me being a Virgo and a Girl Scout, I like to be organized and prepared, but alas, there was no time. My husband tried to give me some pointers as I was rushing out the door, but i too distracted to actually process them. I was nervous for a few miles as I got use to the trailer and tried to remember some of the things that he had told me. It didn’t help that my blinkers decided not to work that day. I started to think about what was making me so nervous and then mentally analyzed them in my head. i needed to conquer this now, or it was going to be a long drive! The more i drove, the better I started to feel. This isn’t so bad, I thought.
I think one of the reasons i was nervous was, because pulling a trailer was a first for me. However as i began to drive, it occurred to me that the other drivers did not know that i was nervous or that I had never pulled a trailer before. For all I know, they are looking at me thinking, “wow, look at that cool chick hauling a trailer”. To them, I probably look like i knew what i was doing - so i started internalizing what i like to refer to as "perceived confidence".
Growing up in the Navy and moving around every 2 years, there were many, many times that i was the “new kid”. Do you know how hard it is walk into a new classroom with everyone staring at you as your teacher mispronounces your name yet again? At an early age, i learned to walk into those situations with my head held high and "act" confident. they didn't know i was nervous and i certainly wasn't going to tell them.
As an artist, blogger and instructor, I come in contact with many women our age. They email me, leave me comments or confide in me. The pattern that I have seen over the years is that many women that I meet along the way have similar qualities. One of the same things I see over and over again, is lack of confidence. There is a fear to try, a fear to be heard and a fear of making mistakes. This fear often haves them so nervous that they aren’t enjoying themselves. I’m here to ask you, what is making you so afraid? Let’s try and remove the fear and practice walking around “acting confident”. You don’t need to tell anyone your nervous just to make your fears known. Hold your head high and tell yourself that you are a strong, confident and beautiful women. Believing starts from within. It’s like that Christmas cartoon, “just put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door”.
On the last leg of my journey back home, as i was saying goodbye to a friend, she said to me "you are so talented and fearless. I find it inspiring". As i hugged her goodbye, I left with a smile on face. That’s just about the best thing anyone has ever said to me.
During some of the televised events for the ten year anniversary for 9/11, my ears perked up when i heard someone say, “Pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing”. This is so so true. When you think about it, who, but you, knows that you are pretending?
tomorrow i head out to Florida to visit Dillon. this will be the first time i've seen him since he left last month. he is doing really well, but quite busy at school. i'm so looking forward to seeing him. I'm driving down, taking the rest of his stuff that didn't make it on the first go round. i'll probably stop around the va beach area for the night before continuing on.