Balancing Acts - January 9, 2020

I have to assume that I'm not the only one in the world who feels a certain way, but I've not heard anyone else ever talk about this: when I write my blog, I feel very vulnerable and very on display which makes me feel self-conscious or like I'm performing and being evaluated on what I write. Then I second-guess what I'm writing because I worry how it will be judged.

It's possible that my real self is a strange enough that what I write is both from my heart and profoundly weird. How much is too much to say and how much more should I write?

In my religion, we believe in direct communication with God. I don't mean that we believe we have visions or hear voices on a regular basis (but some do, and we don't think they are crazy), but we do believe that God knows each of us personally. *I* believe God knows me. I have been taught (and have had enough experiences that I truly believe) that I can receive guidance from God through personal revelation. Personal revelation is really just a quiet thing. You can only "hear" it if you are quiet. Some people call this meditation or communing with their inner selves. I believe it is God. The nice thing is that I believe God directs me for good and that cultivating that communication with Him (capital H because He's special to me) will help me be better.

When I was in college, I heard something (from a person, not God) about keeping journals and how this record of our lives would be an important document for our descendants. They would read our journals and learn from them about us and our testimonies and beliefs and trials and learnings. It would affect them profoundly.

I had been an avid journal/diary-keeper since I was nine years old (my first journal was a stack of binder paper sewn to purple construction paper covers with red (I think?) yarn. I wrote in big fancy letters on the front: "Heather's Journal". It recorded such gems like when my dad installed a garbage disposal in our kitchen and how much he yelled at me & my siblings because of his frustration.

But when I heard this pronouncement in college it affected me like a bolt of lightning. My journals were "important" for "posterity". Since then, I've been horribly self-conscious about keeping a journal. I feel like I'm always writing "to" someone instead of for myself. I have no privacy. I think it's made me crazy because I feel like the writing has to be important. But it also makes me feel like I'm being evaluated all the time. I'm never sure if I'm saying what I believe or what I think I'm supposed to say. Does that make sense? I want to write what I believe and what I've learned about important (to me) things, but I feel so weird when I do.

This relates to blogs, too. I want to express myself - but I feel too self-conscious. MY POSTERITY IS WATCHING! GO AWAY YOU LITTLE PEEPING TOMS! (that was kind of refreshing to say - haha)

I would like to do art that makes me happy. And other people happy. (that was authentic!) (yay!)

I don't feel a pull to do representation religious art, but I really would like to get across the way I feel about God and nature and beauty and love and all those mushy, gushy, positive, happy things in my writing and my art. It feels important to do that just for the world (and not for my creepy descendants - move along you weirdos). When there is so much negative in the world, it makes me want to balance it out with goodness. But not fake-y goodness. Something real.

So, here's what I did today. It's the last exercise before the final projects in Laura Horn's watercolor class. It's SO different than what I do! Forcing me to use these weird earthy colors has been very fun because I don't use color like this. I'm a little more rainbow-y. Blues, greens and pinks are my favorites.

Oh, and those paints I ordered from Blick came in. They are what was called for (weird! not just the ones I already had!) in this exercise. I love Love LOVE the duochrome autumn mystery - it's shimmery!

Absolutely no blues were harmed in the creation of this painting. And that's a bummer.

So, this blog is my balancing act: sharing the good things I have to offer and learning to be real about it.


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