The reason I don’t wear hats, scarves, purses, fancy shoes, or other accessories isn’t only because I don’t have a lot of money (and they hold no appeal) but it’s also because accessories are advertisements of effort. For most of my life I’ve tried to avoid the impression that what I’m doing is something I am trying to do.
Probably the least comfortable feeling in sharing my paintings is that sharing them adds a level of “taking myself seriously” that implies “trying” or “effort.” It is far, far outside my comfort zone. Presenting something I value about me as something that might be worth your time, too, is just not me. It’s not who I am, or who I have been. It is, however, something I’ve been experimenting with and finding interesting and mixed results.
I’ve always been someone who doesn’t hesitate when I see something I want, or if there is something I want to happen I do what it takes to make it happen. I’m bold, courageous, and confident in most respects. This is different. This is calling attention to myself and things that are deeply personal in ways I haven’t before. Exposing layers of me I’ve always kept to myself.
Today I hung the pictures at Starbucks. There will be a reception on July 7, and I’ve told everyone I know locally because I’m trying—really trying—to take chances I’ve never taken before with damn-the-consequences attitude wherever I can muster it. Freely offering, of my own choice, because I know what I am offering is valuable and worth someone else’s time. Asking for the spotlight. Asking to be chosen from among all the different choices people have for their time. Gasp. Urp. Yikes.
I say this is “not who I am.” But it’s more accurate to say that these are parts of me that haven’t ever had any practice crawling or toddling, let alone walking out in the light. It’s what I need to do everywhere in my life right now. I need to teach these parts of me how to live.