Afraid

findyourself-01Today I got feedback from a Fiverr client that my drawing for them was too childish. I was sort of taken aback by it because if you look through my portfolio, everything is childish. Literally everything.

My proportions are never just right. My color choices are often straight out of a crayola box. There is no doubting my art when you see it. It’s childish. I know that. I know  but the sting of hearing someone didn’t like something I *love* and though, even after looking through my portfolio, that is was too childish, made me feel like I have no idea what I am doing. That I’m too “childish” to do any good.

I put mostly all my photography on the back burner. I pulled my Facebook page after the holidays and stopped both marketing and accepting new clients. I will, only take who I want and do the preschools I love but that’s it. No more weddings. No more babies. Shutting that door was hard for me. Even if it’s still cracked open slightly. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t watch as I was barely staying afloat. I couldn’t figure out how to market or edit or sell myself. I couldn’t get past my own doubt. Or my idea that I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t  get paid, I couldn’t charge right, I couldn’t book and I just couldn’t anymore. My feelings got far too tangled inside a business. I should’ve left it a hobby. Because me and business? We do nothing hand and hand.

I failed at my photography business because I sabotaged myself. Well my stupid brain did.

Now, moving forward I’ve fallen back into working graphic stuff. I say stuff because I really have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I am totally, 100% self taught. I watched YouTube and read a lot and I hoped and prayed I was delivering the right file types. And I don’t reach outside the logos I sell on Fiverr because I don’t know how to deliver a business card that’s universal. What if I send the wrong thing and I have done all that work and now they want their money back? And no one ever picks me on 99 Design but I keep at it even though each elimination is like a stabbing. It’s all squished up in my head. It’s like a big, brain shaped road block. Because let’s face it. I’m really, really afraid.

Afraid.

What makes it easy for some and hard for others? I watch people do it all the time. People who are no more trained than me, or talented than me. Most of the time they’re just like me. So why, why aren’t they so afraid they just can’t start? How do they beat the scary monster.

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I’ve applied to a ton of different places. Target, Giant and other local places. I had one interview last year at a place I really, really wanted to work but because of the schedule, we decided it just wouldn’t work for our family. So this, this is my job until my availability opens up or I can figure out how to go 24 hours a day without sleep. Staying home sometimes makes me feeling guilty. I’m not a great housekeeper and there are many days when I make something frozen for dinner. I read too much. Trying to figure out how to start. Trying to make sure I am doing it right so that I don’t end up cleaning up messes from not having any real training. And I like to play trains more than I like to do the dishes. But I don’t work and when we struggle, I often feel like it’s my fault. Because I don’t provide anything but child care and worry.

And I LOVE my art. I love it. I am very proud of it, most of the time. I can’t imagine people don’t get tired of seeing it but I loved to show the process. And I love to hear when it brings other people joy. I just wish I could get away from my monster and use it to really better my family. Because that’s all I want. To make sure my family it okay. I keep taking the classes and reading the books but I am afraid to really jump in. Because I am so afraid to fail.

So I wonder? How did you beat your scary monster. Even if he was just a two dimension, mint green, grinning idiot? How do you get over the scary hill? How can I just do it, go for and stop letting the fear of failing win. Because I really want to leave a mark somewhere, even if it’s just my own notebook, in my desk….

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The joy of my toys

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Ever so often I open the wonderous caverns that are my photo libraries. There was a time in my life that I took my camera everywhere and I took photos of everything. Days that differ from now when my camera rarely sees the light of day. Facebook memories and timehop remind me of all I used to photograph and all I used to say. I often said to much. I probably still do. There was always a constant commentary of what we were doing or what I was feeling. As I have gotten older, I’ve tried to squash it because I know or I feel I’ve used people up. It’s not nice to use people up.

The commentary bothers me. Almost embarrases me but the photos? So much joy.

I love watching the children grow and grow again. In photographs, in stills. In photos that it doesn’t matter if the color balance is perfect or the composition tight. I find joy in the photos when my camera was just a toy.

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My Drew. That sweater. He wore in Kindergarten where as Dexter wore it for his school photos just last year. The photo of Drew reminds me of how big Dexter is as well as how small Drew is and was. I loved stumbling on that photo. Watching Davis change from a tiny boy up at bat, to a child with a real swing and real dream to play ball in school. Photos reminded me of that.

They have reminded me of when Devlynn was too little to know the stress of high school or when there was no talk about buying her a car or her leaving home. I get to relive the moments when we welcomed her to the world all the way up to the first time she wore a pair of really nice shoes.

My camera, my toys brought me those joys.

I have a lot of toys I guess. I enjoy creating. Be it behind the lens or with paper and pen. I find a lot of joy in sewing. Making something for someone to be warm under or in. Something that will wrap them with my love. I take a lot of time and care making each Halloween costume, each Easter basket. I love knowing how special my child feels in the costume that doesn’t look like anyone else’s. I get joy from the comments. I like hearing that I am a good maker.

Vanity, joy in vanity. Terrible confession, *wink*.

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We’re all granted gifts I think. I sometimes wonder what mine really is. I love trying to do lots of things but I never really know what it is I am really good and what it is I just love learning to try to do.

I wonder if I just stuck with one thing would I get really good at it or really bored. Would the sound of a sewing machine still make me as happy as it does now. How it makes me think of my Grandma Esther and how her craft closet smelled. What it felt like to twirl in the dresses she made for me with the machine I look at all the time.

Joys in toys. Joys in gifts. I love to create, make and I hope it brings others joy too.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

It takes a village

12545490_1672146226396144_1312233716_nDrew joined the Cub Scouts this last year. Late by standards I am sure, but after the troops visited school, he asked, a lot, to join and finally after talking to a friend about his sons’ involvement in Boy Scouts, I decided to give it a go. He’s been a member since right before the holiday and it’s been fun. It’s the thing he and I do together even though it’s probably more a dad and son thing to do. I have enjoyed going to the meetings and the field trips.

I have not enjoyed how freaking confused I am. I admit, I should probably read this Bear book. I am totally lost when it comes to understanding why we’re meeting policemen and visiting wildlife places. And outside of being helpful to the hungry, I don’t know why the Scouts annually collect food. Except maybe to earn badges… but I don’t really know much about that either.

And then, gasp, Pinewood Derby hit and they said, “buy a kit, it’s all you have to do” and so I did and it was a block of wood, four pins and four wheels and I was totally lost.

Lost.

My brother is handy thankfully. And despite my house of subpar tools, a beautiful car was created. Drew painted it and Kevin will take it to a friends how to make sure the wheels and axels are just so. And so while I wanted to do it myself, because I am the Cub Scout Mom, I had to rely on my village.

The whole idea of a village is hard for me. The introvert. It’s also hard for me to accept help. I have always thought to myself, “these are my kids, they are my responsibility” especially  with the stigmas attached to large family (see the Duggard’s buddy system). I also hate the thought of not being able to do something. But, I cannot cut wood. And I need more time to learn to build a really good derby car.

It took a village. I fell short, because I am human and my village stepped up.

I have a strange brain. Even though I know I should think about the “what ifs”, I do. What if I was a single mom? What would my little Cub Scout do? I think people think this is a bad thing to do sometimes but I think it’s makes for good planning. Good helping. I’ll ask now… what happens to the Cubs who don’t have a parent who can help them with this kind of thing? Maybe a single Dad who doesn’t work wood and doesn’t have family near. Maybe some kind of network, some village needs to be in place for that. People helping people. Because you never know.

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I also learned from all this that you can’t take over the projects. Holy heck I wanted to paint that car so bad. But this is not my project. It is Drew’s and letting him do it, is part of the journey. It’s a real struggle to not say, “this could be this way” or “paint it like this”. I cleaned up his bomb and realized what I was doing. And I stepped away. It’s Drew’s car. Not mine.

More lessons in parenting. I’m learning more and more every day.

Saturday is the big race. The weather is calling for a tremendous amount of snow so I am hoping we can still get there. We bought a van to replace my much loved truck and judging from how it did in the first snow, we may not be going anywhere.

Oh how I miss my truck right now. I really don’t want to miss his derby.

I don’t want to miss anything.

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.