it made me realize something. i am vocal... that seems obvious enough to the people that read this i suppose. i haven't always been this way. in fact... for most of my life i have been quite the opposite. when i think back on my childhood and young adult life... i would say one word comes to mind more than all others... shy.
i was... and maybe still am (i'm not joking) terribly shy. to this day i freak out when my phone rings. as irrational as it sounds... but i will admit that the urgency of an uncharted telephone conversation gives me the willies. ask my closest friends... sorry laura.... and my parents... i don't do phone calls.
this shyness i am talking about was paralyzing for years. i was afraid of parties and boys and my teachers. i remember being 20 years old and handing the phone to my boyfriend and begging him to please order the pizza for dinner because i was afraid to. it's totally irrational... the guy at dominos was not going to leap through the receiver and stab me.
ya... that kinda shy.
so, you can imagine that this type of debilitating fear of the unknown kept me from doing all kinds of things. i didn't try out for certain sports in school because i was worried there might be something i didn't understand about the game. i didn't take my driver's test until a few months after i turned 16 because i was intimidated by the whole process. but mostly the thing i regret about being so timid in my formidable years is that there were people that i cared about a lot but was too scared to ever tell them so.
i have always been very observant and mindful of the people around me. i could write you a book describing in detail all of the people in my life... then and now... their quirks... their features... the way the guy that delivers the mail always wears unmatched socks... the way my dad eats a cheeseburger and fries... methodically... the way my mom's laugh lights up a room and forces laughter out of everyone within earshot ... etc. but i was, until fairly recently, afraid to tell people what i was thinking.
what a sad thing. to hold inside of you the things that are beautiful about the other human beings walking this planet next to you. i have a friend that has the joy of working somewhere that life and death surround him. he has a quote that he believes in... that echos what i am trying to say...
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." -Philo of Alexandria"
i guess at some point i realized that i am in fact alive. being afraid of the life i am only given one chance at seems like a travesty to me... and so i refuse to be that person anymore. even if it makes me feel like i am going to vomit when i try to be brave sometimes. and by brave i mean... honest.
the thing i have been learning... is that a lot of people can't handle honesty. i think the world has been altered in recent years by the detached way we deal with people on the internet. it's easy- now- to hold those around you at arms length. to watch them and feel as though you are there for them and they are there for you... but never utter a word.
this makes me sad.
because that mirror i was referring to in the first sentence showed me something that should be glaringly obvious. what you see in front of you now... is fleeting... if you don't act now... speak now... what it is you feel, think and believe... you will never have the chance again. and you have no idea what the ramifications of your actions will hold for you.
the reason i am posting this in my "studio blog" is quite clear to me... but maybe not to you, reader. it wasn't until i felt my most vulnerable and afraid... a few years ago... that i scraped together whatever courage i had left to finally share my art with the world. for the same reasons i listed above. i realized that the art i am making is an honest reflection of who i am and where i am. i used to think... people will judge me... people will think i'm a hack... i'm not ready... i want it to be perfect. well, life... and art... are not perfect. we are constantly evolving... and i have learned to love that. it is the evolution of people that fascinates me more than anything else. which is why i am sharing this with you now. because maybe one person will read this and think... "i am afraid... but maybe it's ok to embrace me for who i am right now... a beautiful mess... that's on the road to something bigger" ... we are after all... each of us... on the path to a crescendo that ends the same way. why not turn it up louder... sooner rather than later...
to quote josh ritter "i put a whip to the kick drum, but the musics never loud enough" ... i feel like i have been throwing whips at a drum that's been stuffed full of pillows in recent days. the message is simple. you're alive... prove it. while you shuffle your feet... life is passing you by.