Wednesday, April 18, 2012

me too

This piece was inspired by the art of Magic Jelly. We share a love of anything vintage.

I have this friend name Brene Brown. You might know of her. She's become pretty well known over the last few years.  She studies shame and vulnerability.  Sounds morbid, but she's not at all a morbid person. Quite the opposite.

Anyway, a few months back I had somebody leave a mean comment here on the blog and it really upset me. So I tweeted some vague thing about hating being so vulnerable and hurt. Brene sent me a direct message that basically just said she hates it too.

Earlier this week somebody left a nasty comment for Brene. Really mean stuff about her appearance that had nothing to do with the message she was giving.  It upset her. So I direct messaged her that, yeah, it sucks. It happens to me too.

Another really good friend sent me a text saying that her life has completely changed since she started connecting with other people through social media.  She lives in a very small town. She never realized there was a whole world of women out there struggling with the same stuff she struggles with.

Social media is a double edged sword. As you read this, I'm guessing there are other things you should be doing. Chores. It's easy to waste a lot of time online. Believe me, I have internet loafing down to a science. 

But I believe the good of having the internet out weighs the bad because of one big reason that tips the scales.


I live half my life in total fear of rejection.  I care. I wish I didn't. I wish I could blow off nasty comment and people who don't like me. (Bastards.) 

But I can't.  I care.

And it really helps me to know that other people are as scared as I am.  It helps to know that other mothers worry about not being what their kids need them to be. It helps to know that other artists hold their breath when they put their art out for other people to see.

I have met so many wonderful people through the internet. I have friends from all over the globe. That thought makes me so happy.  I have learned things I never would have discovered if I didn't connect via the world wide web.

For me, the real value in having this network of amazing people is that I constantly hear those precious words: me too.

I've learned to be very picky about what I expose myself to on the web. There are so many beautiful blogs out there, that look like the nuclear family living in a Pottery Barn catalog eating food made by Wolfgang Puck everyday.  I'm looking for authenticity.  I much prefer the blogs where the children are running around the  backyard in their diapers and the mom is still in her pajamas at two in the afternoon. Because, you see, this tells me that I'm not the only freak living in a world of normal people.  

This is not to say that I don't like pretty. I do. I try to surround myself with beauty. It's just that at my stage of life, beauty is peppered with dirty diapers and peanut butter on the bar stools. 

So today, I just want to say to you, me too.  I'm scared and vulnerable and half looney. It's not just you.

This is Brene talking about all this stuff in her second TED talk she did a few months ago.  She's says it so much better than I ever could.

I decided to bump the final workshop class post in order to write about this because it's been heavy on my mind. You can learn more about Prospector Artisan Letterpress class on Friday!


Melissa {polkadot chair} said...

I love Brene! I heard her speak at a convention in January and her speech was the biggest suprise ( a delightful one). It really changed how I look at creating and blogging.
I agree about the double edge sword. I always struggle with how much of the bad/sad/ hard to share. I think it's a constant learning process

Thanks for your thoughts today


Laurie LaRiviere said...

I also love the internet for all the friends I have made worldwide, I am alone in my little scrapbooking art world, don't know anyone around here who does it, so I really do rely on my internet sociallizing to make me feel connected to other paper artists...I don't know how anyone could leave something mean on this blog, I find all your posts to be delightful and truthful :)

Fiona Cartolina said...

I never presume I know everything and my first response to anything new is fear.

Doug laughs at me because when the fax machine spits out a big Cartolina order my response is "Oh no!" and his response is "Oh yeh!"

Talent and humility are a good balance. Too much confidence ruins everything. The more talented people I meet online the more I realize that we all have our fears - it's actually a common thread that keeps us honest.

Great post April!

Cheryl G. said...

Yes. I often feel like the "only freak living in a world of normal people".
But more and more I realize that I'm not the only one that feels that way.
Well said!

Jenn said...

Dear April, Me too! Thanks for being real!!

Jamie and Shane said...

Oh, I can relate! I sometimes have to stop reading blogs entirely because of the insecurities that pop up in my head. Thanks for keepin' it real.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I love Brene Brown and I love that she's getting so much exposure of late.

And I love how you reveal yourself, slowly, on your beautiful blog. It's been a pleasure to come here, year after year and see your children AND your art -- I might be going out on a limb to say so, but I think you've become far more relaxed and intimate on this blog, and your authenticity just shines through it.

(plus, I adore your jewelry!).

Cynthia said...

Thank you for sharing the video and for your vulnerability. It brought me to tears. I will be sharing it with my family and friends.

farfromharmfarm said...

April, I agree with Elizabeth above. you were one of the first blogs i ever read and i've been coming back for a few years now. do you remember the little bird necklace I bought? anyway, i love how you're able to put down in writing what's up in your head, and i love all the mess of family life, because that's how it really is. keep caring and sharing.