This is the start of my project of self affirmation. The first week or so will be more fundamental statements about myself. As I go on I will probably release my sense of humor a bit more. I wanted to start with fundamental statements because you can’t build anything without a foundation.
So this is where I begin, I am my own person. I cannot be anyone else but me, and I need to be at peace with that. I am myself, strengths and flaws.
While talking with my lovely, and insightful, wife about my previous post about fear and failure we ventured deeper and tried to root out the source of this fear. It is in my mind set that interprets and amplifies the negative. This negativity undercuts my confidence, which feeds my fear, which keeps me in a defensive state achieving little. This also gets in the way of some ‘basic’ conversation skills like “I am” or “I believe” statements.
For some of you who have been here for awhile you may remember an earlier attempt at turning this around, my “One Positive Thing A Day” effort. And as you can see on the page it was not the success I was hoping it would be. Well I’m going to try something like it again, but with a more realistic goal – inspired by Christy. I’m scaling back from one year to one month, specifically April 2012. I’m also changing the parameters a bit. The goal to produce a hand drawn bit of type that is an “I” statement. I’m feeling inspired by Kyle Steed and Sean McCabe. The images will go up as is, be it messterpiece or masterpiece, by 10 PM (PST er GMT -8 or is that PDST buh time change).
So here’s the rundown:
Goal: Create a piece of hand drawn art for each day of April, as a meditation on how and whom I am.
Time: 30 days
What do I hope to accomplish:
- Meditate & focus on positive self affirmation
- Make more art
- Practice expressing myself with conviction
- Foster a more holistic view of myself
- Want to do something and complete it
What am I trying to defeat:
- My need to devalue myself
- Lack of art/image making
- My inner critic
- The atrophy of my creative muscles
- The feeling of being a failure if I don’t do it ‘perfectly’
I will start writing the statements I want to say now so that I can focus on the artwork later. While giving myself the option of changing the text at any time up until the work is posted. I’ll be posting these to my art/sketch blog and when the month is over I’ll collect them all into one page. I’ll probably also post them on my DeviantArt account too.
This starts with Adam Savage:
A design icon, Milton Glaser, discusses failure with a startling articulacy: vimeo.com/m/23285699 Embrace the failure. True. That. Word.—
Adam Savage (@donttrythis) March 21, 2012
This video really hits me where I live, as the kids say. The speaker is Milton Glaser (his page, wikipedia) an icon in the design field, one of his most recognizable pieces of work is the I ❤ NY logo. And while he isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said … for me it spoke to where I see myself as an artist/designer/person in process of growing.
The good news is, this is totally possible! Growth is achievable!
The bad news is There is some guaranteed failure.
:record scratch needle drop:
Truth Speaker: Yah, there’s going to be some failure.
Me: I’m not sure I like this any more.
Truth Speaker: Tough. But honestly is it so bad?
Me: Kinda :kicks at the dirt:
Truth Speaker: Stop that. Look. Really look. The people you admire, they failed.
Me: ORLY! :defiant arm cross: They ain’t failing now.
Truth Speaker: :glare: Look at the early early part of the archives on PVP [ Then & Now ] or the early part of Zap In Space [ Then & Now ]. Does this blow your mind?
Truth Speaker: Look closely. These pages are far from perfect. They were the best work that could be done at the time but they are not perfect. There is room for growth. When the artists look back at these they often feel a bit chagrined. They see how far they have come. You know how they got there?
Me: Yah. School!
Truth Speaker: Yes, instruction helps. But they got there by doing something, not quite making it the way they wanted and then trying again. Each time gets closer to the goal they seek to achieve. They failed repeatedly. But they didn’t let the failure define them.
Me: Ya but –
Truth Speaker: Hm?
Me: It’s hard.
Truth Speaker: It is. It is always hard. It gets easier, but it’s always hard. For you, it is harder to get started, with your personality type and the baggage you carry. But it’s not any harder than it is for anyone else. It may look different, and someone may have a smaller bag to put down, but you don’t know how dense the weight in it is. It could be full of lead shackles from ridicule and an unsupportive home life. We’re all carrying something. The sooner we put it down the sooner we can pick up the things we want to carry.
Me: ‘spose you’re right.
Truth Speaker: You know I am. A failure doesn’t make you a failure. Continuing to fail without changing makes you a failure. So get up. Yes, you’re going to fall, but get up. When you get up you don’t fail. When you get up, you get to try again. Embrace the failure. See it for what it is. Move on with the knowledge you gained.
Me: And I get scared.
Truth Speaker: It can be scary. It puts you in a place of vulnerability. That is always kinda scary. But it’s worth it. When you’re out there, it will be you that is appreciated. And if they don’t like you, well they aren’t going to. And if they don’t like you but you are yourself they will at least respect you. And those that do accept you will love you. The real you. Not a facade, not a prop, not an expectation, just you. You are enough.
Me: I am?
Truth Speaker: Always. You are worth dying for. And more than that you are worth living for. Say it to me.
Me: I am enough. I’m going to fail, but I’m not a failure. I will stand up and move forward. I define myself. I am enough.
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Chicago Sun Times’ Andy Ihnatko says it well – The big hammer of SOPA, PIPA will only crush Internet freedom
So it’s November. It came quick. But that’s not whet I’m writing about. Right now I’m procrastinating on NaNoWriMo. Because writing is easy, you just stare at the blank screen until little drops of blood appear on your forehead. Hahahaha … almost.
Writing is skill and art. And because it’s a skill it’s not _easy_. It seems easy, “Ya, ya’know … just write. yeah?” But it’s not quite that. Well not quite for me, right now anyway. I’ll admit there’s a pretty good chance I’m over thinking this. This is supposed to be fun. A chance to cut loose and let the words fly. Yeah. Right now I feel like I’m writing in a circle. I am not sure where to go or how to get there. This tells me I’m way over thinking it.
NaNoWriMo is about the “shity first draft”, that thing you plop on a page to then be dissected down to useful parts and rebuilt. It is not a finished product in and of itself. To get to the end of the project is the goal. A 50,000 word novel. It’s quite do able. Especially if you stop over thinking it.
I think I’m feeling the pressure because I’m about a day and a half behind on my word count, the goal is 1800 a day. I need to let go of _having_ to meet that goal. That and maybe spend a few more moments on a more solid plot arc. Too few plot points to aim for. I think that’ll be tomorrow’s lunch project.
Anyway, I’m not giving up. Just griping a bit. Thanks for “listening”.
While I was getting a snack and checking something on the DVR, The Dog Whisper was on in the background. At one point one of the dog owners says, “In just a few minutes he had dominance over Buddy but he was still gentle”.
That’s when it hit me. Dominance doesn’t mean subjugation, it is understanding and respecting authority. Which is how I suspect God wants us to see him. Authority but not oppressive.
My wife is wise beyond her years. This morning she was telling me some thoughts on love. And out of that came gems that could sink the Titanic.
- Love must be an act of free will to be real.
- Love is action.
- To this I add, God is love therefor God is action.
If you feel like this isn’t exactly mind blowing, then you’re probably a much more emotional mature person. But for me it was a shot to the head. The fact that it’s my head that does most of the leading in my life is part of my trouble, not enough heart leading. I’m not always sure what heart leading will look like, but I know I gotta try. I can’t love if I’m holding my heart in check.
Stepping out/stepping up is difficult for me. My personality seeks to be at peace with all around me. I have taken that to an extreme that says “Peace with all around me at all costs”. This is not a good way to live. I have put myself in a very detrimental emotional position, because I have put so much of myself in the hands of others. But I am not satisfied with this situation. It is my goal to change this. To make my life my own.
This change in stance on my part may cause some tension between myself and others, but I’m gonna have to learn to weather and deal with that. I don’t think it will cost me any relationships. Which is what I was mostly running from. I will learn that people can be agreeable without having to agree. I also need to be okay with the fact that not everyone I encounter is going to like me. This is harder for me than I would have thought, but I’m not giving up. I need to be my own person, have my own life, and love. And the love will come out of the security that I have in who I am, and that the person who I am is loved.
Today I sat down at the computer and did my usual start up; open GMail, start Tweetie (v 1, computer is too old to run the new Twitter for Mac [sad face]), open Facebook, open Google Reader, open my Start.io page with my comics links. And normally that’s about as deep as that goes. If there’s some funny or neat thing I’ll reTweet or what have you. But today … well it was a little different.
One of the people I follow is Nathan Smith he is a web designer out of Texas. He often posts very good things, but today he dropped a bomb on me. He linked to a TED talk about vulnerability by Brene Brown [twitter, website] (link to video at the end of this post).
I have a personal struggle with allowing myself the option to be imperfect. I know that sounds very odd but if you look back over some of my post you may see this a something of a trend. I have a hard time with the small “failures” that go into almost any project. These thoughts are incredibly unrealistic and understand this in my mind but I don’t quite feel it in my soul.
So in an effort to see myself as something other than a messy failure my loving wife has challenged me to looking for the positive things I can do. I have pushed this challenge to a year. One year of finding at least one thing positive about myself.
This was the first. – the rest will be on a separate page … and may show up as posts too –
9/1/09: I give a pretty good massage. (My wife says I should upgrade that to “excellent”)