Inspire This!

For the past year or so, I have been mopey.
Getting used to marriage has been a toughie for this girl!
The year before that, I was panicked.
Turns out, falling in love was kind of scary too!
Plus, it turned out that working with adolescent males full time was a little too much for my heart to handle.
And i wilted a bit.
So, there's that.

When you are mopey and panicky, you don't tend to be very creative.
But I am noticing that when you are not very creative, you tend to be mopey and panicky.
And then . . . you get weird.
(As if mopey and panicky were not enough!)

On top of that, I do have some of the traits of a typical first born kiddo (which i am).
I am a perfectionist.
But just to murky the waters, I am also creative and I am a bit cynical and pessimistic.
So, a cynical perfectionist knows that you can WANT to do something perfect . . .
but perfection just isn't possible.

The result?


Why do anything at all if you can't do it perfectly?

This is the mantra of the First Born/Middle Child Hybrid.

In case you are confused, let me give you some background information.
I am convinced that the egg from my mom that was meant for me was accidentally matched with the sperm from my dad that was intended to go with mom's egg that was reserved for my younger sister Amy.

Does that clear things up?

While this theory is about as plausible as herb's theory about his conception and birth
. . . it just is what it is.

This is me.
Weird, first born-ish perfectionist-ish.

The point?

I have needed some inspiration.
A reason to be creative.
A reason to try, even if trying might mean mediocrity or *gasp* failure.

Every time I try to create lately, I seem to get stuck. Somehow I stopped creating for me and started holding myself to certain standards. That special, free, floaty feeling that i used to have when i created disappeared.

And remember, if you can't do it just right . . .
all together now:

Very good.

Why do it at all?

But lately, i have had a few people inspire me to do it - whatever IT might be!
even if you can't give it all of the time you want.
even if you can't do it "just right".
do it.
do something.
do it now.
don't wait.

there is a catchy little tune that has been stuck in my head for a few weeks.
and while it the chorus has the f-word, i believe truth can be found just about anywhere . . . even if it was not intentional on the part of the human who created it.
i have found myself humming it.
and after a while, i found myself believing it.
why not just do it?
do anything?

so, thanks, zefrank!

(if you are not too worried about hearing the f-work word, go right here for this hysterical little ditty.)

otherwise, this will give you the gist. this is part of zefrank's intro to a little song called "Where the "F" do ideas come from?":

"I run out of ideas every day! Each day I live in mortal fear that I've used up the last idea that'll ever come to me. If you don't wanna run out of ideas the best thing to do is not to execute them. You can tell yourself that you don't have the time or resources to do 'em right. Then they stay around in your head like brain crack. No matter how bad things get, at least you have those good ideas that you'll get to later.
Some people get addicted to that brain crack. And the longer they wait, the more they convince themselves of how perfectly that idea should be executed. And they imagine it on a beautiful platter with glitter and rose petals. And everyone's clapping for them. But the, but the, but the, but the bummer is most ideas kinda suck when you do 'em. And no matter how much you plan you still have to do something for the first time. And you're almost guaranteed the first time you do something it'll blow. But somebody who does something bad three times still has three times the experience of that other person who's still dreaming of all the applause. When I get an idea, even a bad one, I try to get it out into the world as fast as possible, 'cause I certainly don't want to be addicted to brain crack."

Funny AND true.
How's that for a double-mac-attack!?!?!
Love it!

And then there is my friend Kelly.
A few years ago, Kelly decided to become a photographer.
So she taught herself.
Then she opened her own studio.
And now she is an artist with a thriving business in Kansas City, MO!

The beautiful thing is that kelly (who i have known now for about 13 year - did the math in the shower this morning, kel!!!) sees more potential in me than i see in myself. And for the past year, we have made a habit of talking every few days or so. Recently, we have been chatting about once a day. And while I know we both benefit from our morning chats, I am beginning to realize that kelly is out to encourage me into greatness. Part of her approach to this is to invite me into the creativity that she has been splashing about for the past few years. So, she subtly slips opportunities my way - sort of disguised as bartering or favors . . . but in reality, she is pushing me to just get out there and do something with my talents! ANYTHING!

It is kind of like she taught herself how to build a roller coaster from scratch and i just walked over and said, "oh, i like roller coasters! can i have a ride?"

The pictures above are of a 12 x 12 canvas I made this week.
Thanks to kelly, i am going to make a handful of these and display them in her studio as an option people can choose when deciding how they want to display the pictures she takes of them and their family! This is my first attempt . . . mostly playing around with paint and adhesive techniques.

and zefrank is right - i know now more than i did three days ago!!!

thanks zefrank for asking the question, "where the f*** do ideas come from?" - even if you are a major potty mouth!
and thanks kel, for inviting me onto your roller coaster!

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Blogger RachelDenbow said...

Umm, this is exactly how I feel about Elsie Flannigan. She is my Kelly. And I love her for it because I wouldn't be doing any of this if she wasn't along side saying, "You've got something to offer."

Thanks for this post.

11:05 PM, April 28, 2007  
Blogger RachelDenbow said...

Your canvas piece is pretty. I'm eager to see more of those.

11:08 PM, April 28, 2007  
Blogger Cara said...

thanks miss encouarger denbow!

11:25 PM, April 28, 2007  
Anonymous Jen said...

Hi Cara,
This post really hit home for me. I appreciated it so much that I read it outloud to my husband like I needed any more confirmation that your words were so true for me. I too struggle with being a perfectionist and first born (only child) artist. It's also funny because I meant to leave a comment for you about this post much sooner than now but I wanted to make sure I got it "just right" so in that thinking, I actually just didn't post at all...so, here's to me finally doing something, now and not waiting. Love the song by zefrank, it made me laugh. And I also love that Kelly girl--she's great at that whole roller coaster thing!

10:46 PM, May 03, 2007  
Anonymous Jen said...

Oh, and I also still think we should get together someday. I know we would have a good time.


10:49 PM, May 03, 2007  

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