This is a Sunday Letter at its heart, but I keep waiting for a Sunday that isn't busy or crazy or on the road, and if I keep waiting for that Sunday this letter may never get sent into the wide world. So hello, Sunday Letter on a Tuesday.
What I want to say—have been itching to write about since the idea started scratching around my brain—is what it means to me to be seeking confidence in my creativity. And that it has something to do with cutting off my hair, too.
There's a collection of thoughts that always seem to bubble when I've had a new idea—a new idea like my pattern-design greeting cards. The collection of thoughts (which I'm having a hard time writing out because they're more like inarticulable feelings) crystallize into this question: "Will people like it?"
Wherein "people" means "the entire collection of humans that could possibly know about this idea." As if that group is actually able to act as a single force. And as if my idea needs to pass some kind of test posted by the "people."
Consequently, new ideas sometimes die early deaths because—while they're still bouncing around my skull—I'm convinced they won't pass the test. They won't find a home with the people.
But something occurred to me a couple of weeks ago. Focusing on the people means I'm overlooking a much more important group: my people. The ones who would see my new strange creative ideas and feel resonance, and reach out and say, "me, too!"
And in whatever moment it was I realized that, I immediately felt a confidence to act on it; a confidence that acting was the act.
Old way: Have an idea; worry about the people; give up idea; have another idea; people; stop; idea; people; stop.
New way: Have an idea; make it; share; find my people, slash, my people find me; people cheer; new idea; make idea; share; people; cheer; idea; make; share; people; cheer; idea; make; share; people.
Creativity / individuality / self / hair
Hair? Right, this had something to do with hair.
I've been growing my hair out, because it's an idea I had, that I wanted to see what it would look like. I've never been good at taking care of long hair, but I find it so pretty. There are ladies out there who make it look, just, so damn pretty.
So I was growing and growing and many moments along the way I wanted to cut it. "But what if I regret it?" ... "But what if it doesn't look good?" ... "But what if people don't like it?" (By the way, that is not code for "What if my husband doesn't like it?" He thinks I'm purty pretty no matter what and I know it. It's for real "what if people don't ...".)
What if people don't like it? What if people? People people people.
But then I was looking through old photos last week, and seeing myself with little bangs and a bob and remembering how much that felt like me. Me me me.
So I got out the scissors and chopped. Choppity chop oops chop more chop chop.
I was still carrying around that worry about people. It's part of why I knew I definitely had to cut. Because I had to live with that worry, and just do this thing I knew I wanted to do anyway.
I felt a rock in my stomach once it was done and un-undoable. A little anger at myself for being rash. But it only took a day to realize the cut felt like me. It really did. It felt right and pretty.
And now, part of my daily mission for myself is to practice this move to confident individuality. Something as simple as coloring in my tiny foxes with tints I like but I'm not sure work together.
Try it! Try try and just see!