The prompt for Documented Life this week was to "Use a rubber stamp in a new way". You can read more about it HERE.
I have to admit, I am a bit of a stamp hoarder...not as much as some people...but I'm really bad, because I use them so rarely. Even though I love them. And I continue to buy them, even though I don't use them very often. Guilty, guilty stamp hoarder indeed...
So, I lovingly pulled out my binder of barely used stamps this weekend (and searched through my tote full of wood-mounted ones...I told you I was a guilty stamp hoarder!) and here's what I came up with:
|"Change comes from within."|
"Be the change."
Because I'm a guilty stamp hoarder, just using my stamps is using them in a different way for me...but I took it a step further, by coloring in some of my stamped images with Souffle Pens. And some of them are stamped on vellum, which is a technique that I love to see in other people's work. So cool!
|Really glad I went with the scribble lines to outline her...I think it looks really neat!|
I've been feeling like a big fish in a small pond lately. It wasn't till this week that I could put my finger on it and say what it was, but that's it: big fish syndrome...I don't think that's an actual disorder, but that's what I'm calling the feeling I have...
What I mean is this: I've worked on myself really hard. Especially since beginning this blog, I've made massively huge changes to myself. I've worked to become more like my real self, and I've made gigantic strides. Because I wanted to. I needed to. I'm proud of that...SO, SO proud. Because it wasn't easy. Because it took time. Because it took tenacity. And because it was something I chose.
And there are still things I work on, or want to work on. I think once you start, you continue to crave growth...at least that's what I'm experiencing.
The problem that's come up for me is that I've grown so much, there's doesn't seem to be room for me to expand anymore in the place where I'm at.
Let me give you an example:
I've been watching TED Talks on Youtube. They're these really interesting lectures given by these amazing people who are experts in their various fields. The topics are widely varied, and forward thinking and thought provoking. Totally awesome stuff...I suggest you check them out, because there's bound to be at least one topic that will interest you.
So anyways, I've been watching these talks. And I've been trying to start conversations about some of the things I've heard in the talks...you know when you hear something that's so interesting, you feel like you can't keep it to yourself? The thing I've found is that, even though what I have to share might benefit the person I'm telling it to, there's no interest in it.
I'm not trying to ram it down anyone's throat, just have an intelligent conversation. And yet, NO ONE I know has any interest in that. What I'm finding out is that, while people have problems and 'want a solution to their problems', they don't want to have to put forth any effort. They want a magic fix. They want a change, but don't want to feel any discomfort in the process.
That's not a new concept to me. I KNOW people are like that. But what I failed to realize before is that everyone I know personally is like that. And I'm not too haughty or self-important or blind to realize that I myself am like that at times...I know it, and I'm working on it. But that's the point, isn't it? That I'm the only person I know in real life who's willing to work on changing.
And that's the problem I'm having...feeling like a big fish in a small pond. Feeling like, if just one other fish would try to expand themselves, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I wouldn't feel so alone in this little pond.
One thing I know is this: no one changes unless THEY want to. You can't fix anything for anybody, because once you turn your back, they'll do the same thing they were doing before you fixed it. You can help people at times, but, in the long run, not people who aren't willing to help themselves.
The other thing I know is this: I have the choice to change my circumstances. If the other fish are content with the pond, then maybe what I have to do is find a bigger pond. That sounds a little harsh, but the thing is, I've expanded as much as I can in my current situation. If I stay in this place, there is no room to expand any further. There is no room to 'swim'. And if I can't expand, then I will become stagnant. Eventually, I'll start to shrink again.
I've lived long enough to realize that life is like swimming against the current. If you don't at least try to move forward, you will move backwards. You can only tread water so long, before you regress. I've worked too long and too hard to get to the place I am now. I don't want to go back.
That said, I've been feeling dissatisfied with the way things are for a while now. I can feel myself start to become stagnant. I find that I don't want to put forth effort to make some of the changes I KNOW I want to make. Because...why? Why make those changes? And why do I feel that way, when I've made so many changes so far, and seen the benefit to making those changes?
Because before, I naively thought that other people might expand with me. I thought, if someone else can see how I've improved, then maybe they would also put forth the effort to improve too. But that's not what's happened.
So I find myself saying why should I change, when nothing around me will ever change? Despite how much I've grown, I'm still in the same small place that will never get any bigger, so why should I try any more?
But that is the wrong question. I see that now. It puts the blame for my choices on other people...in effect, it's saying 'I can't change because you won't change'. That's the wrong way to think and it's a total cop out. The right question is this: Why am I allowing myself to stay in a place that will never be what I need it to be?
There's an expression that says "If you don't make a choice, you made the choice to let someone else choose for you." I've lived at least a third of my life that way. I don't want to live the rest of it like that. I choose not to always be a big fish in a small pond. With love and appreciation to the other fishes, it's time for me to start making my way down the road. It's time for moving on.