On Keeping Going
The photo above was about halfway through a layout that I wasn't really sure was even good enough to finish. This was the third or fourth knotted speed bump, and all my good intentions to save myself the trouble of taking out and setting up the sewing machine by hand stitching the photos had already melted away by knot number two. The thing is, I finished it anyhow. I untangled this knot, the one that followed it, I pulled up and re-glued a photo that was so off centered that i could no longer ignore it's cry, and I took a photo of the finished product, share it online, and moved on to the next project. And I am sure you can guess this, but this layout that seemed like such a great idea with Atwood's words that I love, the ability to use of the photo scraps I tend to hoard, and my most favorite piece of Studio Calico graph paper, the one that I began to question, then despise, then accept, all in the time it was being made, that layout received tons of response and so, so much gorgeous, kind feedback.
The me from a few weeks ago might have given up at knot one, and definitely would have been out by knot two, but the me lately keeps going, and it's not because I feel like I have to, or that I think giving up, or quitting, or consciously choosing to stop is wrong (far from it, actually), but because part of the courage to make more and share more, is in the courage to believe an idea is good enough to follow it through, not to give up on it at the first sign of possible defeat. And what I've been finding? It really is only the possibility of defeat. So often, waiting at the end, is a victory, and no matter how large or small, victories are worth celebrating.
As the 100 Days of Doodles project continues, I've been finding that after the most frustrating flubs, or the times when I wonder if I can really even do this anyway, and I ask myself if I can even doodle a dog after my first attempt looked like this:
...it's times like these that the work is the cure, that the keeping going is what makes it possible, what shakes loose the frustrations and doubts and allows me to tray again. Confidence, I am finding as I build it small brick by small brick, is found in the trying - again, and again, and again.
Who knew I could learn so much from some pen and ink doodles I've been doing my whole life?
I've spent the last few years afraid to want more, to say it out loud and own it. It's easier, I think, to say this is what I do, this is who I am, this is my life, and while all that is true, the keeping going, the making and sharing has changed the way this sounds in my head, and suddenly when I say it like this it opens up what will come next, so I say: This is what I do! This is who I am! This is my life!