“Chalice, you missed a day! I can’t believe it! You failed!”
These may or may not have the first words my brother spoke to me this morning after I failed to post yesterday.
But, if you remember correctly, the challenge wasn’t to actually post everyday, but to write a post everyday.
Well, yesterday my sister and I went over to our friends’ house where we made the most amazing fried chicken, chatted about musicals and such, went swimming, ate some more, and continued chatting. We had a grand time. But by the time we got home, my brain was so exhausted all it could pump out was a nonsensical list of reasons you should play saxophone.
I wasn’t actually going to post it, because it felt so pointless, but my brother insisted. So, I dragged my weakling body over to my dad’s computer and tried to open my blog. But thanks to the internet dying without any hope of resurrection, that never happened.
“Okay, well, what about the day before? You didn’t post anything then either!”
Well, actually I did. But not on this blog. If you haven’t seen it already, you can find my post for Tuesday on Masterpiece Artists. And if you like art, you should totally give them a follow while your at it. 😉
Anyway, I didn’t come here to justify my lack of blog posts. I came to sprinkle some love and sappy-ness on you, and maybe even call you out…. maybe.
There’s a phrase I’ve heard quite a bit on my art journey. I think it’s supposed to be a compliment? But I don’t like to hear it. That being said, I know I’ve probably said it a few times in my life. So I’m not completely innocent.
What is this dreaded phrase?
“I wish I could draw like you.”
I’m going to break this phrase apart a bit and show you (and myself) why we need to stop saying it.
“I Wish I Could…”
First of all, you can. I mean, really. I’ve seen people with quadriplegia create the most stunning paintings by holding their paint brushes in their mouths. So what’s your excuse?
I wish I could do the splits.
I wish I could sing.
I wish I could play the drums.
If it’s at all possible for that wish to come true, and if you REALLY wish you could…. then you need to stop wishing and start doing.
Start stretching, even if you can only do a little. A little goes a long way.
Start singing, even if you think you sound horrible. The more you sing, the more your voice will develop.
Start saving up for a drum set/kit. Or if you already have one, then start playing.
If you are really wishing to acquire a skill, something you’ve always wanted to do, you need to stop wishing, and either surrender that wish to God or start pursuing it.
“…Draw Like You.”
And second of all, I’m sorry, but I’m going to be blunt here. You could never draw like me. In the same way that I could never draw like you.
Even if you copied my style exactly, you couldn’t capture the heart that I put into my art. And I couldn’t capture your heart either.
I can’t pour into my art all the life you’ve been though, all the things you’ve learned, the grief, the pain, the joy, and all the love you’ve experienced.
Only you can do that.
We all have something unique that we bring to our craft. Can you imagine how boring music would be if everyone sang like Whitney Houston? Or how bland art would seem if everyone painted like Degas? We would get sick of it.
So let’s stop wishing. Let’s stop comparing. And let’s run forward with fearless hearts and childlike enthusiasm.
And to all those who have told me that they can’t even draw a stick figure…. I don’t believe you.
Okay, but seriously, maybe you can’t. That’s okay. I couldn’t host a party with the ease that you do. Or write a poem as beautiful as yours. Or name different all the different car parts like you can.
(Or maybe I could if I practiced.)
My point is we’re all different. And that’s okay. Better than okay, actually. It’s beautiful.
(Told you it’d be sappy.)