But what isn't alright is why I haven't been blogging. It took a little introspection to figure why, but now that I know, my solution is to put it out there.
And so, I have a confession to make: I'm scared.
And immobilized with fear.
Why so scared? Because a couple weeks ago I went into my studio and painted this:
It was incredibly fun and relaxing and I was so shocked when I was done. It was beautiful to me and I didn't know I was capable of it. I had never really painted before. Sure, I have used paint to make paper-cloth, but that was more a matter of slapping it down to create texture. This was a series of purposeful choices, playing with different paint colors and types of brushes, to create a painting that reflected my voice.
So, a couple days later I painted this:
Again I surprised myself. Over the next week or two, I painted a couple more and each time I felt an incredible satisfaction of self-expression.
And then all of a sudden I stopped. I stayed out of my studio and found other things to do with my time. I wanted to go back and paint some more, but I was resisting. I walked around with a tightness in my chest. I couldn't pinpoint what was going on.
So I grabbed a blank sheet of paper and a scratchy pen (scratchy pens are my writing implement of choice when trying to figure out something) and started journaling. The first couple paragraphs were about everyday worries: why is the cat vomiting again? Why is the car leaking oil? And just how much will fixing the cat and the car cost?
But it wasn't until I turned my thoughts to painting and my studio and art that I began to figure out what was going on. I wrote "Fear. Fear. Fear. I'm so scared right now of what I have done. What if I can't do it again?"
And oh boy did that make everything make sense. Originally, I painted for fun, without fear of failure because "Hey, if I painted something ugly, then that was all part of being imperfect anyway." But as I continued I became attached to the idea of making beautiful things and I lost that freedom of being okay with failure.
So fear struck and resistance formed and I walked around with a lump in my chest as my desire to go paint tangled with my fear of failure.
Once I realized that, it was like finding freedom again. This year is about allowing myself to be IMPERFECT, to make mistakes, to have failures, but to always get up and try again. It's not about clinging so desperately to success that I don't try anything at all.
So back into the studio I go.
And I decided to share this because it's real and honest and imperfect. And maybe it will inspire someone to face their fear that is holding them back.