Tuesday, July 14, 2009

42nd Birthday Pronouncement

Today, I am giving up my fear of not being good enough.

This fear holds me back in ways even I can't even imagine and I have been living it for 42 years now (well, maybe when I was a baby I knew I was good enough). My parents didn't instill this in me - it came with me when I entered this world.

Perhaps there were reinforcements, like the multicolored Santa incident. Or comparing my art to my sister's (she was 4 years older and I was more focused on writing). Or when I stopped getting As in Math and decided I wasn't good at it (self-fulfilling prophecy). Even my first interpreting job was procured because of a dare. I didn't think I would be good enough to get the job, but I was damned if anyone was going to think I was a chicken, too. I have been pushed, bullied, and pulled into theatre, interpreting, interpreting theatre, getting jobs, interviewing for jobs, taking classes, meeting people...the list goes on and on. I stopped writing because I was afraid that people's expectations were too high. My expectations were too high. I didn't feel that my writing was intelligent enough or erudite enough. I didn't feel like I had anything important to say - or more accurately, I didn't think anyone would care about what I had to say.

I do have something important to say - maybe not important to you, but important to me. My life is its own masterpiece and I have to keep working on it, even if I don't know when I will be done. I have seen many masterpieces left unfinished in my life. Mine will not be one of them.

So, today, on my 42nd birthday, I'm taking back my life. I'm sure I will hesitate. I'm sure I will struggle. I'm sure the shadows will chase me as they always have. But I can shine a light on them. I can say that the struggle is part of the masterpiece. I can say that even if my voice was alone on the winds of time, I needed to have it and I needed to express it.

To commemorate giving up this fear, I will be sending in a 4X6 piece of art to Patti Digh for her 50th birthday. I know she will get some incredible pieces of art. I know she will get amazing displays of talent. But from me, she will get a piece of 4X6 bravery and a heartfelt gift of gratitude for helping me find my own unique voice again. And it will be good enough. For me.


  1. yeah for bravery and yeah for birthdays...hope it was a happy, happy one!

    oh, and saw a preview for Where the Wild Things Are at the movie theatre and thought of you! it (the preview) brought tears to my eyes. i am not usually one for books into movies, but this tugged at my heart, perhaps to see that someone would want to create a larger story in film. perhaps because maurice sendak was my son's first reenactment: In the Night Kitchen...think naked toddler stomping around with a chef's hat on ~ priceless.

  2. YAY!! Here's to 42 more birthdays! I hope it was festive and fun and everything you wanted. And I'm glad your giving up your fear of fear... You are an amazing soul. My birthday wish for you is that you celebrate you the way your friends do.

    Much love!



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