Lately I’ve been pursuing things that are brave, even if that simply means something as small as believing in a possibility instead of dismissing it, trusting someone with an important decision, or trying something new.
These are challenging things, even if they seem small.
I’m also very aware that the calendar keeps flipping over and my family and I are approaching a painful milestone as we come up to the one year anniversary of losing my dad. I don’t know how to prepare for that. I don’t know what to expect. I’ve found that in other situations if I put too much emphasis on feeling a specific emotion in a particular moment, I usually get it wrong. It’s like my feelings are petulant toddlers who don’t want to be told what to do. I don’t have a lot of words about the anniversary yet, except to say that I think some of the incapacitating intensity of loss has ebbed…today.
That said, I’m trying to focus on what I think I might want to have around me as that day nears: my favorite scarf, fresh air, my family, and some paints.
This great community of art journalers, Get Messy, has been focused on the word “brave” for a while now, and this is one of our last linkups on that topic. I didn’t include any pictures that had the materials used to create the pages but I’ll try to get some of those again in the future. If you want to see the way other people interpreted some of the challenges, click here.
My biggest news is that I started a part time job. This may not seem like big news, but I’ve been home full time with the kids for many years. MANY YEARS. So any paying employment that takes me away from home and has regular hours and a PAYCHECK is a big deal. It’s going really well, but the next art journal page comes out of A. being brave in re-entering the workforce, and B. being swamped with all the new information I have to learn (relationships, names, positions, responsibilities, programs, etc.).
When I was in fifth or sixth grade, my family went to a conference out in Colorado. Remember, I’m a child of the 80’s so this was around the time that neon colors and black rubber bracelets were the big thing.
I wanted to join in the fad, so I somehow acquired a new pair of earrings (I don’t remember having money or taking the initiative to go buy them, so my mom must have bought them for me). They were super-cool, dangly and neon. I wanted to wear them with an air of nonchalant confidence but in fact, I was terribly self-conscious about them. I was sure everyone was staring at me.
My family went to a party — with dancing — at the end of this conference, which had people of many ages attending. A much older boy came up to me during this party and very sweetly asked if I’d like to dance.
No way was I going to dance with this super cute older boy. Was he insane?!
“No, thank you,” I mumbled, totally embarrassed.
He left and I spent the rest of the evening silently wishing I had said yes.
This journal, made on a flat canvas board, is a shout out to those earrings, which were an act of bravery even if I was self-conscious about them the entire time I wore them.
This one is an attempt at a new technique.
I submitted some artwork and an essay to an online publication. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it was definitely an act of bravery to push “send” on that email.
Okay, this final page is scary for me to share but that’s part of what this is all about. I’m trying to learn a new thing and simultaneously take steps to share, even if in the process things are imperfect.
There we are, friends. I’ve shared some of my brave moments with you. Do you care to share any brave moments of your own? Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments!