As I type this post there is a part of my brain that is screaming to shut off the computer and walk to another part of my house. For those of you who have kindly stuck around to ask yourselves, "what the heck?, how is that an opening line for someone who hasn't blogged in months and months?!"...I will explain.
When I decided to quit blogging, and I do mean "quit" blogging back in January it was for a myriad of reasons...really too many to list, but I will mention a few.
I was feeling lost, at a loss for words, at a loss for ideas, at a loss for who I was and where I was going. I felt like I was walking down a path that wasn't the path I should be walking, but I continued to trod along anyway...have you ever done that? It's not a good feeling to keep walking even though your tiny voice is yelling at you to turn around and run in the other direction, yet I managed to ignore that voice for a long time...that is until January when I decided to stop on the path and consult my internal GPS for a little help.
At first I thought I was just tired, tired of creating images that I wasn't really loving, posting about things I was semi interested in, and busy promoting artwork I felt somewhat unsure about. But it turned out that I wasn't really tired at all...I was scared, plain and simple.
Fear is such a strong emotion, and one that I know well, but only in some parts of my brain, if that makes sense? See, I can walk up to perfect strangers and tell them something wonderful about themselves, see potential in others and help them find their destiny, but when it comes to recognizing my own value, my true talents, I've been scared to dare to think I might be worth more than a discounted sticker price.
For years I have hung myself on a clearance rack of sorts, convincing myself that those other pieces of merchandise deserved to be sold at full price, but not me...no sir, I should be happy if I get the cost of wholesale back I would say to myself.
I know this analogy may seem off the wall to some, but for me it hit home as I did some soul searching over these last few months. As I sat and scoured Pinterest, other blogs, or just listened to music, I suddenly stopped listening to others (including the voices in my own head) and began listening to myself...my un-scared self.
I've given myself this talk before, but to be honest it had always fallen on deaf ears...or it was drowned out by the other little voice in my head that said, "yeah right, who do you think you are to even consider doing what you want and valuing it?!"
But maybe because I turned 49 in December, or maybe because I stopped comparing with others, or maybe because I just was tired of listening to that same crappy voice that seemed to always rear it's ugly little head when I was making headway...the new voice that emerged began to drown out that old voice.
And let me tell you, I was all ears for this new voice. This new voice didn't care if anyone commented on an image, if people even saw that picture, or if it was what I had hoped it would be when I created it.
At first it felt weird, kind of egocentric to tread this new path, one where I wasn't walking to or from something but one where I was putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the feel of the soil beneath me.
Now, don't get me wrong, this new path has tree roots and briars, and muddy patches that require hopping over, but I don't focus on those bits anymore...well not as much anyway. Instead, I now feel as though I'm walking with purpose, with my head looking skyward and not afraid to fall as I gaze upward.
The realist in me knows that looking skyward will inevitably cause me to stumble, maybe even fall flat on my face at times, but I'm ok with that. I would much rather fall and have seen the beauty around me, than to have spent my days staring at the ground anticipating the bumps, or looking over my shoulder fearing what will come up behind me.
So why not just keep all of this to myself? There is a part of me which is asking that same question...and I'm not sure I have the answer yet. What I do know is that I have felt a pull back to this blog in the last few weeks, and that, along with some beautiful and truly touching emails and comments from some dear friends, has me wanting to see where this will lead.
I have come to know that I am a creative person, and I am happiest when I am creating, but I am also someone who likes to share, and to share in the creativity of others, which this blog allows me to do.
I'm not the same person I was back in January, and I'm glad for that in so many ways, so I've made a few changes as I venture forth.
1. As much as I love comments, they will be turned off. I no longer want people to feel obligated to do anything but visit here and take from it what they will.
2. I have no idea how much or how often I will blog, or about what I will chose to feature, but it will be what I want to feature, plain and simple.
3. I will only create images that bring joy to myself, always hoping that others will find joy in them as well.
4. I will find gratitude and peace in every single day and hope that my images will do the same for someone else.
5. I will be supportive of ME and find value in what I create while still being supportive of others.
6. I will save the best little pieces of me and spread them like heirloom seeds across the landscape, and I will marvel as they sprout, grow, and flower into the beautiful creations they were meant to be.
To Loi...thank you, your words have meant more than you could ever know! And to those of you who are still around, thank you, and I hope that you will begin to walk your own path, one that helps you to be the best "you" that you can be! It just takes one step....