Celebrate the Shit Out of that Shit
The last time I was here, blogging, or whatever you can call this, I was feeling somewhat defeated. Tired, plateaued, lost, and certainly a little self-deprecating. All of which were real, and I knew even at the time, impermanent. Those are feelings we all battle now and again, and while they are valid, they are not the only ones that live here.
I've had a really fantastic week - I did a pretty hefty web drop this past Sunday and the response exceeded my greatest expectations ( thank you thank you thank you thank you), I had a friend reach out and ask to include my earrings in a beautiful photoshoot with another local maker and a photographer (I will post details soon!), two people who I greatly admire in the clay world complimented my work, and I had a vintage account who I love accept some earrings and not only wear them but post them and feature some of my work in her stories. It was a good week, and even now, I know it's impermanent. I don't say that from a place without gratitude, but from a place of knowing that every feeling, good or bad, won't last forever, so you accept it, you let it sink in, you take from it what you need to, and you grow with it. The good times and the bad ones will always be there in some capacity, and oftentimes in looping rotations or even at the same time - it doesn't mean that you always have to "wait for the other shoe to drop" and not accept the goodness while it lasts - celebrate that shit. Celebrate the shit out of that shit. And it doesn't mean that the bad times won't hurt, it means that there are lessons to be learned on either side and that both are immeasurably valuable.
I've really been trying to dig in recently and learn all the things. ALLLLL THE THINGS. Which is a lot of things, it turns out. But, I think for the first time I'm allowing myself to learn the good things, to feel the happy, to say the nice things...to myself. I've never really allowed myself to let the good sink in. I have not celebrated the shit out of that shit. Today I do. I have said that I was proud of myself recently, and I said it on the internet, which clearly makes it fact. I grew up always assuming that I had pride in what I did that it would open it up for criticism or it would come off as braggy, but it turns out that it's ok to be proud of your hard work, and it certainly may open you up to criticism, and that is also ok...and it's inevitable. Some of that criticism may be people who don't have anything else to do, it may be people who believe that your success must be contingent upon their failure, or it may be constructive criticism or even just a lesson in growing a thicker skin. You can't avoid it by dimming the brightness in your life. You can't control the narrative around you, but you can control your own actions and how you react to others. You can work your ass off and hold your head up high, and see who's there with you. You can do a lot of things, but let's go ahead and leave not believing in yourself off the list.
I'll work on that. It's something I know to be true, and I can tell you and write about it, but it's not a natural action for me, so I will try. And fail. And try again.
As I said, this week was a good one. I am proud. I am happy. And I am excited to harness my newfound ability to say those things and continue onward with the learning. Next week may suck, I may be spending time comparing myself to others, or quantifying my worth with likes on Instagram, or maybe I'll be just medium, who knows. They are all allowed in this space, and they all have things to say, so I'll listen.
My friend Emily of 31 Suns has recently talked about "Knowing Your Worth" and it's really difficult for most of us, even the people that make it look easy probably have an internal dialogue that we don't see. Know. Your. Worth. Give compliments, don't assume competition. Act with empathy, not assumptions. I'll talk more about this next round, because how Emily and I became friends certainly could have gone another direction, but thankfully it didn't.
There's a song called "Fighting Fish" by an amazing writer, rapper, and singer, Dessa. I'll link it below, because that song articulates so much of my internal battle.
"Around here we don't like talk of big dreams
To stand out is a pride of conceit
To aim high is to make waves to split seams
But that's not what it seems like to me
I wanna try I wanna risk
And i don't wanna walk rather Swing and a miss
I'm not above apologies but I don't ask permissions
Got a lot of imperfections but I don't carry my ambition in them"
Do yourself a favor - tell yourself something nice about yourself RIGHT NOW. Say it out loud. As big as you got that new job or as small as you didn't bite your nails today. SAY IT. Celebrate the shit out of that shit.