By All Means, Paint!

I hate art.

There I just said it.

I remember very vividly the day I realized I hated art.  I was in the 6th grade and was forced to take an art class along with my other peers for six LONG weeks.  Our final assignment was to paint a still life portrait of a vase of gaudy flowers our teacher had sat on the table before us.

Simple right?

For sixty minutes, my fingers worked their magic.  Sweat poured feverishly from my brow.  I was going to be the next Van Gogh.

Well, I’ll spare you the grizzly details, but what I remember most was my teacher saying, “Jessica, perhaps next year when you can choose your related arts activity, you should pick something BESIDES art.”

From that moment forward, I hated art.

My hatred for the subject was even more fueled by the fact my sister was an excellent artist.  She would doodle for countless hours making beautiful and creative designs that weren’t really anything, but were really impressive to look at.

Me?

Even my stick people looked shady.

So I let the Illusion that I could be an artist die.

I gave up.

Without a fight.

That has pretty much been the story of my life.  If something was hard, made me struggle, or someone told me I was doing it wrong, I dropped it.  Cold turkey.   Clearly this wasn’t for me, or it would be easy right?

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Of course that way of thinking only left me feeling even more bitter and angry at the world, so I knew I needed to make some changes.

And I did.

And then I thought I was all better.

But of course….. I wasn’t.

Over the past year, I have developed a strong and incurable passion for hiking and being outdoors.  There is no other place that I feel more alive and at home, then out in the woods.  I have hiked over 600 miles in a little over a year, developed some amazing friendships, and seen and done some amazing things.

But the old me is still deep inside, and sometimes she likes to come out.

She tells me that I am too fat, too ugly, too slow, too weak, to unlikable, too introverted, too extroverted, too messed up, too insecure, too dumb, too cocky, and sometimes just too much.

I don’t like her.

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She doesn’t show up too often, but when she does, she comes at me with all guns loaded and aimed at me.

A couple months ago she showed up, and decided to stick around for a while.  She followed me to work. She followed me to church.  She followed me on outings with my friends and family. She even followed me when I went and cut off 13 inches off my hair last month.

“Are you really going to wear that?”

“Are you really going to eat that? You’re fat enough…just eat carrots.”

“Are you really going to try and do that?  Good luck.  Hope you have a nice dress to be buried in.”

For the first couple of weeks I didn’t listen, but she got more and more persistent, and pretty soon the jabs got harder and harder to ignore.

Last weekend it finally became more then I could take.  While on a hike with my ultra fit and amazing sister and another friend, I struggled.  I didn’t feel well, and the climb was tough.  All I wanted was my couch and big ole glass of coke.  I did good shutting out the hateful me,  until the three ladies over the age of 60 passed me going up the mountain.

“Well, well, well…. do you believe me now?  You are NOT cut out for this.  You suck.  You are weak. You are too fat, and clearly you just a wanna be.”

That was all I needed to hear.  I was officially defeated.

I finished my hike, came home, and pouted.

A lot.

Now some may not understand what I am talking about, and that is good. Consider yourself blessed, but some of you out there know all too well what I experienced and how real, frustrating, and defeating it is to have those kinds of conversations with yourself.  Others will tell you to get over it, move on, it isn’t real, and that you are just being a baby. But some of us know the realness and struggle all too well.

It has been a crappy week.  I have wallowed in my self frustration for seven long days.  I created my own little pity party with me as the only guest.

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Sad and pathetic I know.  Go ahead.  Laugh.

But this morning I got up and I opened my devotional for the day, and instead of the bible verse that went along with it inspiring me, it was the quote the author used.

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You can’t paint,’ then by all means paint, and the voice will be silenced.” ˜ Vincent van Gogh

That voice is always going to be inside my head telling me I can’t.  And you know what, I am okay with that now.  Because ultimately I am the one with the power.  She may speak, but it is up to me to chose to listen and believe.

So go ahead evil girl inside of me, talk away.  You may tell me I am not good enough, but I chose not to listen.  Instead I will draw on what I know I can do.  Over the past year I have done and seen WAY more than I ever thought I could, so that proves that I am pretty amazing.

I may not be skinny, all that gorgeous, fast, considered a part of the in crowd, or even in shape. But I AM determined, stubborn, full of sass, adventure, and crazy adorable.

Some may have stopped reading a long time ago, but to those of you who stuck it out, listen…… You are AWESOME.  You are able to do AMAZING things.  DO NOT listen to that voice inside of you that tells you different.  You may not reach all your goals, you may not do it with style and grace, and you may fall down along the way, but listen, the ONLY way you or I will ever fail is if we don’t TRY!

Keep going.  Keep moving forward.  Pushing through the frustrations, the pain, the looks, and the comments.

Paint!

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go find where I put those paintbrushes…. I feel a masterpiece coming on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailing My Ship

Don’t you love it when you think you have a handle on this whole life thing, only to have the Rhythmic pace totally halted by a road block????  You are moving along at a pretty great pace, when…..

BOOM!

You have a yet ANOTHER hurdle to climb over.

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It honestly just sucks. Continue reading

What Ya See Is What Ya Get

I hate false advertising.

Something is branded as being the best. When you view the advertisement you just can’t believe it looks that good. You simply must have it. Whatever it is. You go to make your big purchase…giddy with excitement….only to have your dreams dashed as you glance at what you just wasted good money on. Continue reading

Exhausting All Possibilities

I am the Queen of Unfinished business.  If you take a look in my guest room you will find half done knitting projects. Three scrapbooks I have attempted to put together, and an array of other “projects and hobbies” I told myself I would finish.

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It’s not that I mean to bail…I just get tired, frustrated, bored, and well…..let’s face it…I’m lazy.

My mother has been trying to teach me to knit for 20 something years. It has been the source of some of our greatest fights and shouting matches. She would get me going on a couple of rows and then it happened…..the two year old fit and the same excuse……. Continue reading

Be Amazing…..Not Normal

I have a Dilemma.

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There… I have said it.  It is out in the open.  I have absolutely no shame in making the above statement. My body screams, “Girl…Get fit!” But my stomach responds… “Need Tacos…STAT!” It is a constant struggle, and let me be honest…The tacos usually win.  Continue reading

My Moment

I have heard it said that Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.  Now, I am not going to lie, I always thought my life would END at the end of my comfort zone. I could just picture me taking a leap out of a flying plane, only to hear the pilot say as I made my exit…. “Hey! You forgot the parachute!

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I longed for adventure and change, but I could not get past the fear of what MIGHT happen if I opened myself up to it. Seriously…..so much could go wrong. What if I looked stupid? What if I totally botched it? What if I thought I was totally rocking it and I fell flat on my face? Continue reading

Take The Risk.

T.S. Elliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  So many of us stand on the sidelines looking at life and say, “I could never do that?” But how do we truly know that to be true unless we try?

My whole life I have been a dreamer. There were all sorts of goals and life accomplishments I wanted to experience. Some I achieved and succeeded at, but others… well if they required too much I just brushed it off… “That’s too hard. Definitely not for me.”

Maybe getting older has made me more reflective, but after turning 40 I started taking inventory of my life. When I looked back one thing was painfully obvious….. Continue reading