May 22, 2012

are your feet tired from kicking your own ass??

it's me, your friend Betty Turbo, here with an important public service announcement:  it's time to break up with the false limits you've placed on yourself.  pick something today, that you've told yourself you aren't, or can't be, or can't do, and rewrite that message.

i've been an "art girl" my entire life, and am generally comfortable with that label, except when people assume that by specializing in art, i have zero skills or interest in other areas.  i have also always been a lady of letters!  it burns my toast when people are shocked that i could excel at reading & writing.  yes, some artists are unable to express themselves in words.  i am not one of those.  but here's a tricky part of having many interests:  i like doing a LOT of things, and i insist on being an expert before i start them.  if i can't observe, or read all about it in a book, before i have to try something, i will make excuses for why i'm really not interested.  so i had no problem wearing a giant "A" for "artist" on my chest during every gym class or other physical challenge.  i accepted the lack of evidence of any natural athletic ability and my dedication to art & academics as perfectly good reasons to suck at sports.  besides my brothers were superjocks with giant muscles.  that was obviously "their thing," not mine.

a year and half ago i was in a place of having to re-invent and re-structure a lot of my life, and trying to choose what big changes i could make for a "fresh start."  i decided the most shocking habit i could develop would be to become a runner, something i had openly ridiculed to most everyone who knew me.  now this is an entire long story itself, which i'm happy to tell in detail sometime if anyone's interested, but the short version is:  i ran a marathon a few weeks ago.  

there are plenty of details which may make that story seem more or less of a big deal, but the important part is, this message i had carried in my brain FOREVER about "not being able" to run was some STRAIGHT UP BULLSHIT.  and this post title about your feet being tired from kicking your own ass was a sign i saw on the side of the road along the marathon route.  yes it's cheesy. (i love cheesy, who are we kidding?)  if you are not kicking your own ass, what are you waiting for?

i'm thinking hard about this now.  i'm asking myself the tough questions and looking at my art, this thing that is really MY THING, and trying to clear out whatever false limits have snuck in there to mess with me.  words are so important, even if they're only words you're saying to yourself!  have i been setting up false limits by making wimpy goal statements??  a year ago, (after i got past the point of refusing to visualize the future because i was terrified of latching on to something and feeling destroyed again when it didn't come true), if someone asked me what i wanted i would lamely mumble, "oh... i just want to make art all the time."  and  i was munching some cookies at a gallery opening a few weeks ago with one of my favorite local art dudes, talking about people who "make art all the time" like it was this lofty aspiration.  "wait a second," he said, "isn't that what YOU do?"  WELL, SHIT!  that is what i do, but i am definitely not satisfied with my situation staying like it is right now.  time to think BIGGER.  more specific, more grand, more open to ridiculous abundance and discovering new possibilities.

i laugh when i look at ways i've behaved over the past few years, because i think i "used to be" way ballsier!  in college i was the one at the writing awards luncheon in a neon NKOTB shirt and red cowboy boots while everyone else was in business suits.  i think that summarizes how i feel i fit (and enjoy appearing!) in any group.  as the wise Andrew W.K. has said, "my place in this room is the same as my place in this universe."  wait, i used that quote in my commencement speech, when i had no problem being a giant exclamation point with a microphone in front of thousands of people.  where did THAT girl go??  i'm calling myself out, you guys.  i'm calling myself out on my bullshit and trying to get back to clarifying what i REALLY want to be doing here.  DEATH TO FALSE LIMITS!

i challenge you to do the same.  what is something you've always wanted to do but told yourself you couldn't?  what excuses have you made for not striving for excellence and awesomeness in everything you do?!  what statements have you made about yourself that are not built of facts but actually built of fear and resistance?  break it down.  you can borrow my sledgehammer.  and if you care to discuss it here, you know i'll be your cheerleader too.

"Motivational Speakers" from Betty Turbo

May 3, 2012