Being brave is about telling your truths and story despite trolls and ridicule.
It’s Be Brave Friday today and truth is that so many people are being brave every damn day.
Being brave is about continuing after massive loss.
Being brave is about living in a world that might be pressing you down.
Being brave is going after your dreams.
Being brave is about being who you are — open, vulnerable, flawed, and shiny.
Being brave is about telling your truths and story despite trolls and ridicule.
Being brave is sometimes dealing with just an annoying email that makes your heart sink.
I hope we can all hold each other up, grab each other’s hands and make something good.
If you’ve read my Be Brave Friday posts before, you know I have a hard time sharing my art because … parents. It always makes me feel so vulnerable.
Anyway, this is a painting that I’m making prints of and sending some out to my patrons who help me out and read my unpublished stories on Patreon. I hope you like it okay. I know it’s not a lot of color.
And I hope you might hang out with Shaun and I for a bit tonight (7 p.m. EST) on LOVING THE STRANGE (on Facebook/YouTube/Twitter).
I should really make it’s own reminder post, but I’m not feeling super brave about that. Put your brave on my friends. We’ve got this, right?
Every weekday on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, I share insight/thoughts/inspiration from our two dogs and three cats. If you want to follow me on any of those places? It’d be great.
Here’s today’s, courtesy of Sparty Dog.
Whatever you used to be, used to think?
That doesn’t need to matter anymore.
Carve out who you want to be right now.
Create the story you want to live.
The future is still out there, ready for you to soar into it.
And choose love & treats. Always.
LET’S HANG OUT!
HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?
MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?
Over on Facebook, I do a think called BE BRAVE FRIDAY because I’m trying to be a human being who:
Does things that I’m afraid to do (in little and big ways)
One of those things was podcasting and now we have over 202,000 downloads of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE. I was afraid to do that because I have sloshy-s’s and have been tormented and bullied about my voice for a long, long time.
Another thing that I’m afraid to do is share my art. That’s for a bunch of complicated reasons, but it just makes me feel really vulnerable. So, now I’m sharing it.
Here’s today’s post.
It’s Be Brave Friday
Today, I watched many of my friends be brave and say that they’ve or their family has had Covid-19. They shouldn’t have to be brave to say that. Society needs to love instead of ostracize. We need to work together to build the communities we want to be a part to of. That building should be about love and access not shame and fear.
Today, I also chanted under my breath while I was working, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m good. I’m good.”
And I’m thinking this probably means that I’m not so good? But I am still lucky and blessed to be alive, to have shelter and food, to have people that I get to love. I hope you get those things to. I hope you hold them close to you – those blessings.
Here’s this week’s painting. I hope you are being brave and true. I hope you can chant to yourself the stories you want to hear and live the stories you want to inhabit. Love to all of you. <3
Dogs are Smarter Than People
WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE
I make a big deal about being brave. That’s because I have a lot of anxiety about certain things:
LIST OF BIG THINGS I HAVE MAJOR ANXIETY ABOUT
Being in videos
Dead clowns reanimating.
People I love dying.
Anyway, I’m pretty open about the things that make me nervous and over on Facebook, I’ve been having Be Brave Fridays where I do something that I am uncomfortable about and encourage others to be brave, too.
So, what I’m really uncomfortable about is showing my art. That’s because of a couple things:
It’s really personal
I’m not trained
As I told a lovely woman that I met on Friday night, “My mom was amazing, but she had really defined notions of what our family could and couldn’t do.”
The lady said, “Oh, I get this. My mother is the same way. I get this.”
According to my Mother, If we were going to create things, it was supposed to be:
She said to me on multiple occasions when I was little, “Nobody in this family has an artistic bone in their body. None of us can draw a straight line.”
But I really wanted to draw straight lines and make comics and paintings. I knew there was no point though.
None of us can draw a straight line.
I spent years and years wishing I could draw or paint. I spent years and years wishing I could make images without words.
Not an artistic bone.
When I was divorcing, I gave in and bought paint. I would stay up late into the night, painting. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was the only way I could think to get my emotions out into the world so that they wouldn’t fester inside of me.
It didn’t matter that they sucked because nobody would see them. I would paint over canvasses because I didn’t have enough money to buy more canvas. I would paint on newspaper pages (not a good idea), on the backs of old-fashioned notebooks, on anything.
Not an artistic bone in my body?
It seemed pretty true.
I became a writer and I wrote novels, but sometimes I would still get these images in my head. I would need to get them out.
So, I’d trudge down into the basement and paint.
It’s cold in the basement. The kitty litter box is in the basement. It’s easy to hide down in that basement. I hid.
Sometimes when I get stuck in a story, or can’t work out its theme, I paint.
Sometimes when I get lost inside my emotions, I paint.
A woman said to me on Friday, “You wrote all these books, too? I have never met anyone who is good at both before.”
And I laughed and was all self-disparaging and said, “You still haven’t.”
She gave me a look and said, “Oh, honey. Yes, I have.”
Oh, honey. Yes, I have.
Even writing that now? It makes me get all teary-eyed.
Painting is the places inside of me where I can’t make words work, where I can’t get things to express themselves via writing, so I have to go deeper.
There are places that are deeper than words.
It’s hard to show that to the world especially when:
You haven’t been trained
Nobody in your family can draw a straight line
There’s not an artistic bone in your body.
You live in a world where being vulnerable and authentic is often derided and scorned.
I started Be Brave Fridays because I was tired of hiding. I posted paintings even though I was positive not one single person would be kind. But people were kind and one person, Aymie Walsh (co-owner of CoeSpace in Bangor) sent me a message and asked me if I wanted to be in an Art Walk.
An Art Walk is a thing where people go from site to site and check out different artists. It all takes place during a set time period in a location like a city or downtown.
When Aymie sent me that message? I thought she might be punking me. I texted my daughter and she said, “Do it! Do it! Do it!”
My daughter is the bravest human I know. She’s faced all her fears now. She’s a field artillery officer. She went to Harvard. She’s jumped off buildings. She’s survived me being her mother.
So, I said yes.
I said yes even though I kept hearing those phrases, wrapping themselves around my heart, over and over again.
Nobody in this family has an artistic bone in their body. None of us can draw a straight line.
I was an anxious wreck all last Friday. I had one of those existential life crisis moments where I didn’t know why I bothered to exist at all. I was a punk all day. I had so many fears.
Then we put up all my paintings on the beautiful white walls of CoeSpace. And something inside me shattered.
This could not be real.
I expected nobody to come. I expected people to mock me to my face. I expected to hear those same sentences only slightly twisted around.
You don’ t have an artistic bone in your body. You can’t even draw a straight line.
What are you trying to do?
Here’s the thing though. Nobody said those words to me.
But here’s the bigger thing. Even if they had said those words? They don’t get to make those words real. Only I get to make those words real. Only I get to have that power over who I am and what I want to be.
That’s something I have to learn over and over again in my life. That’s something that I have to remember and paint through because that realization? It’s a heart realization. It’s a soul realization. And it’s too big for words.
There are much better things to tell ourselves, to sing into our stories, and to bind our hearts with.
Oh, honey. Yes, you have.
Those words made me braver. Aymie made me braver. My poor, sweet family that dealt with me all day? They made me braver.
I want you to be brave, too. Go after the person you want to be, okay? Sing out your story in the melodies that you want to hear. Become.