Right now, my studio desk is a mess. Like…chaotic almost. Except for the fact that I know exactly why I have my desk laid out like it is. Each project is carefully sorted and stationed. Hello, my name is Nana. I have quite a short attention
Hello, my name is Nana. I have quite a short attention span, unless I don’t. This is who I am and I’m tired of making excuses for having survived a stroke.
Let’s be clear. I don’t think anyone is expecting me to make excuses. I’m the one who does it. I am the one who remembers how my brain worked before the stroke. These days I constantly apologize for not being able to function like I did prior to January 11, 2015. I hold myself to that standard and when I don’t perform at it, I beat myself up.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about this. I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that my brain doesn’t function like it used to. I have waited for it to start working again and I guess I’m realizing that day will never come.
This morning a friend shared an article with me and it got me thinking even more about how I treat myself. I would say that I can be a compassionate person but I’m certainly not self-compassionate.
Later in the day, I was inspired to take a saying that the same friend had shared with me and add it to a little bit and bob that was waiting to be arted on. The lettering didn’t turn out perfect. I know, shocking. I had been thinking that maybe I would share a picture of it but…it wasn’t perfect. At first, I started mentally berating myself for not taking more time to make sure that my sizing was even throughout. Then I remembered a bit of the article that had stuck in my head.
…this means that unlike self-esteem, the good feelings of self-compassion do not depend on being special and above average, or on meeting ideal goals. Instead, they come from caring about ourselves—fragile and imperfect yet magnificent as we are. Rather than pitting ourselves against other people in an endless comparison game, we embrace what we share with others and feel more connected and whole in the process. And the good feelings of self-compassion don’t go away when we mess up or things go wrong. In fact, self-compassion steps in precisely where self-esteem lets us down—whenever we fail or feel inadequate.
I stopped and asked myself how many times I’ve not shared a project because it didn’t come out Pinterest Perfect. Then I thought about those times that I was actually happy with the project but I could never get a good enough picture of it or write something interesting about it. Exactly whose standard am I holding myself to? I play with paper and digital images. Prior to the stroke, I had barely a passing knowledge of either. I’m self-taught and I should give myself a bit of respect for that.
So now, I’m thinking that I’m going to stop trying to make my blog follow the formula. If I feel like rambling on a bunch and posting a single picture…I will. If all I have the brain energy for is a single photo, then that’s what I’m doing. If I don’t have a feature photo to put up with the post, who really cares? So…I’m going to do some stuff. I’m going to share some stuff. I’m going to stop worrying about having the perfect lighting and getting my desk all cleaned off for a serious photo shoot.
This is me. I survived a stroke. Most days I’m not sure what day of the week it is. I have an awesome family that keeps growing and sometimes I make art. Stick around, or don’t. Either way is cool. I’ll be back again the next time I remember to share.
Until next time…