These art easels have seen a great deal of action. Over the years countless aspiring, young creatives have used these to invent themselves. They have started their creative lives being supported by row after row of wooden easels surrounded by others also perusing a creative path. Oh the stories this equipment could tell if they only had lips to share them.
I am using one of these easels this week at a conference. As I examined the one which holds my practice pages I thought about all the other students who stood in the same spot as I learning something new. I’m sure they were a bit wobbly as I am in mastering new techniques, new tools, and getting their bearings in a new medium. I kept telling myself today that it’s not about perfection it’s about being brave enough to do something new.
The class I am taking is WAY out of my comfort zone. It is new tools, new paints, new physical requirements, a new alphabet and after dinner I was very tired. I can tell I have not settled into the rhythm of this new thing and that in and of itself is requiring a lot of my energy. I have not been this uncomfortable in a long time. I was reminded of how my students in various programs must feel when they are learning a new thing and are pressed outside their normal boundaries. A serendipity of taking a class is being reminded of what it is like to be a student in the land of the unknown. I teach again next week and will carry my updated sense of compassion with me through that content.
When was the last time you were REALLY uncomfortable learning something new? I mean to the point of wanting to quit? You were so far away from land you recognized that you wanted to quit and go home. If I can offer you any words of wisdom as someone who lives in that space right now, don’t give up. Practice takes time and muscle memory doesn’t develop overnight. Give yourself the time and patience to find your own rhythm. Think about all those easels and all those hours of learning that touched people’s lives in unknown and powerful ways. Persistence doesn’t happen in a day, it takes time and energy. Give yourself the gift of persistence to face the uncomfortable to land on the other side. One more day of trying could be the one that turns the tide and changes your future forever.