Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bravely Going

WARNING: Be prepared for a lot of talking/reading...I apologize in advance!

The prompt for DOCUMENTED LIFE this past week was to "Pick a Fantasy Vacation Spot and Create a Packing List.  Money is No Object."  And here's what I made:

My packing list includes time, space, solitude, and clarity...smallest suitcase ever!

I was having some trouble with this prompt...because in real life, I am the lightest packer ever.  So I chose to instead focus on the fantasy vacation spot itself.  The things I dreamed of having there ended up being a lot less tangible than clothes or a toothbrush...although I suppose they'd be on the list too...

In my dream vacation spot, the little red building off in the distance is actually a big house full of art supplies and boxes and boxes of somebody else's interesting stuff...and it's less of a vacation spot and more of an I-get-to-stay-as-long-as-I-want a month...OK, two least...  

The big red house, whom we shall call Clifford, is quiet and's surrounded by forest and just on the other side of the house is a lake where I can go fishing or swimming or just sit on the porch swing (you can't see it in the picture, but there's an awesome porch swing) and look out over the lake and ponder.  

Clifford (the big red house) is on the outest of outskirts of a sleepy little town full of antique shops and diners where the waitresses are all in their early 50s and wear just a little bit too much makeup and call me "Hon" in a way that I find completely unoffensive, despite the fact that I usually hate it when people who don't know me call me pet names...  They bring me pie and my teeth don't hurt when I eat it (stupid sugar making my teeth hurt in real life...WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE BUT LOVED YOU?!?)...and I've got a never ending glass of the best sweet tea in existence. 

And all day, every day, I do whatever comes into my mind to do, whether it's be creative or sort through somebody else's old, unwanted random stuff to see what I want to keep (is it weird that this is my second favorite ideal way to spend a fantasy day?) or cook while listening to some awesome music or lake view pondering...or relax with a delicious beverage in a Jacuzzi with water that miraculously stays the perfect temperature and doesn't make me all prune-y.

And I suppose that the main thing I want on this extended vacation is clarity.  I'd love to have a place where I could breath...where I could let go of stress and just relax and sink in.  I'm interested to see what I would do if I had time enough and space enough...what would I do if I could do whatever I pleased, without a million nagging voices pulling me off in one direction or another?  What direction would I choose?


For REVERB14 today, the prompt is threefold:

When and how was I brave in 2014?
Choose one or more of those moments of bravery and write a letter to yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.
Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.

In order to skip repeating myself, I'm just going straight to the letter part:

You're not going to believe it when I tell you this, but you will do so many brave things this year...things that seem impossible here at the're going to amaze yourself.

This is the year you make yourself be heard.  You are going to confront someone who did you wrong...yeah, confrontation, I know...I wouldn't have believed it either, but it's true!  And not only are you going to confront this person, but you're going to have an actual adult conversation.  You are going to be brave enough (and mature enough) to accept that there are two sides to every story and you're going to forgive this person even though they hurt are going to be brave enough to trust them again...brave enough to give someone a second chance.  And it's going to have some really interesting results.

This year you're going to be brave enough to hear and accept the truth.  You're going to receive constructive criticism and you're not going to take it as an attack on you and you're not going to hold a grudge against the one telling you that you've still got some room for fact, you're going to be really grateful to her.  She's even going to make you cry like a big baby...and you are going to thank her for it.

And that's not the only time you cry this year...yeah, you are gonna be brave enough to front of other people...not in the shower with the water running so that no one hears.  Nope...right out in the open...and you're going to be ok with it and not feel like a total idiot.

This year you are going to share more of your art with the world and be brave enough to say that you think your art is actually pretty good...even though you worry that someone will disagree...even though you worry that you can't handle negative comments about something so precious to you...even though you worry that someone's going to think you're getting too big for your britches.  You're going to be brave enough to experiment in your art, to keep reaching out for improvement, and to admit just how much your art means to you.

There's so much more in your life this year...but I think I have to let some of it surprise you.  After all, you're going to live it.  You won't be unafraid, but you will face those things that frighten you with courage and determination.  And when you get to the end, you're going to turn around and look back at all the things you've done and how far you've come in 2014.  And you're going to be brave enough to say you're proud of yourself.  I'm so very proud of you.

The reminder I will carry with me through 2015 is this:

Don't hesitate, because the pause in between breaths is the shadow where fear lies in wait for you.  Cannonball into the waters of your life with reckless abandon.  
  Don't let yourself drown by treading water for too long.
When the current of your heart pulls you into a direction you don't expect, let it.
.  You know.  You've known all along.  Be brave enough to admit it.
Bask in the beauty of your own being.


  1. Oh what a fabulous brave year! Yay you!!! And what a perfectly lovely reminder to carry with you in 2015. I'm very excited for you. P.S. Would love to have the address of that fantasy vacation destination as well. :-)

  2. That sounds like a fantastic year! Very many congratulations on being brave and being yourself.

  3. Your bravery is an inspiration and a privilege to witness. Go Amy!


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