Remember in my New years post how I mentioned that I want 2014 to be the year of creative bravery? For that to work I have to go a little bit deeper and I decided I need to write about a few things that have kept me from being brave through the years. I spend a lot of time worrying and going over things in my head and lately all those thoughts have landed in a sort of conclusion about myself. Some of these things I've known for years but I think I have needed to go through it many times to see all of it. I'm not a psychologist and I don't think even they are especially good at analysing themselves but I really have thought a lot about this and it feels like I have made some progress.
In order to be brave I need to break through some quite stubborn parts of my brain that I've held onto for far too long and that is connected to my self esteem.
So let's do this like a true therapist and go back to my childhood. Ha!

When I was little I was bullied quite hard. I had red hair, freckles, hated sports, wasn't skinny, talked a lot, wore whatever I liked (even if that happened to be my mother's beautiful 70's hippie blouses), and maybe I was a little bit different from the other kids in my class, I don't know.
It was especially hard between the ages of 9 to 12 and the memories I have from that time have absolutely affected how I see myself today.

One of the things I remember is never wanting to speak up in class because every time I did I got laughed at, resulting in me hating everything I wasn't already good at. Because of that I felt safe in theatre, dancing and singing; things I had done by myself for such a long time that I felt nobody could take it away from me. I went to dance classes and was part of a theatre group after school and that was a true haven for me! Especially theatre where I could be anything and everything, I even played the role of the popular girl in class in one play and it felt incredible that the drama teacher let ME play that part since I was as far from that as you could get.

In school on mondays my classmates told me that the only good thing with being back in school after the weekend was that they could hit me again. They never really hit me, just talked a lot about it, and most of the bullying consisted of being mean to me, freezing me out, talking behind my back, name calling, threats, all that sort of thing. And yes, the teacher knew all about it and all she had to say was that I had to give her the names of the bullies and she would talk to them "when she had some time over". Of course I couldn't give her any names since that would have just backfired and made it even worse for me if it got out that I had talked to the teacher.

I was always scared of doing things wrong that would lead to my classmates ridiculing me so I stayed away from things I couldn't do. Like gym class. I was so good at avoiding gym class. I sat on the bench most days and when I couldn't lie myself out of it my classmates made sure I knew just what a failure I was by sending me back and forth when it was time to choose teams. I was always last, of course, and the team that "got"me always said something like "We don't need her, we can play better without her".
God, I hated gym class with all my freckled being.

When it was time to choose classes for 7th grade I had the amazing opportunity to take theatre classes instead of languages and that was such a relief for me because now I had one thing in school that I knew I was good at. It was absolute heaven.
That year we also changed school so the bullying sort of ended then and there. I wasn't one of the cool kids but I was mostly left alone and I had some friends and I started to feel so much better about going to school.

After all these years though one thing have stuck with me to this day. The fear of doing something I'm not already good at. This is a really big part of me actually. Everything I do I have learnt by myself or it was something I already had a talent for from the start.

Like my jewelry for an example. I started to look at jewelry making books but it felt like school all over again and there were rights and wrongs and I didn't need anybody telling me I was doing things wrong in my spare time, thank you very much! So I took a copper wire and made up a technique along the way. I love how my jewelry have evolved over time and I am incredibly proud of my work becuase I made it and nobody could say "You did this wrong". My work is mine and mine alone and that is the best feeling in the world.
One thing I'm not proud of though is that I get jealous of other artists quite a lot and a while ago I realised that this is connected to my fear of doing things I'm not good at. Doing something unique makes it safe for me so when I see somebody doing something similar I get scared that they are going to be better than me. Because of course they will be, and then I will be a failure and I won't have anything completely mine anymore. This is such a stupid way to think.
This hinders me from growing and it keeps all my great ideas locked up in my brain because if I send that email/if I make that product/ if I choose to believe in my ideas and those ideas get turned down then there's a whole class of 11 year olds laughing at me in my head.

This is so hard for me to write, you have no idea, because this is me as a 32 year old woman bullying myself like the tiny kids in my class when I was just a little girl and that is STUPID. I can't do that to myself anymore. I just cannot.
I need to stop bullying myself into fear and start getting my ideas out there because they ARE good and I AM talented and if I don't make mistakes I will never make anything new and interesting either and that is maybe the saddest shit ever.

So that is the reason for all this emotional bravery. Without emotions there will be no good art and I want to make incredible art and if I don't show myself in the process then that is NEVER going to happen. It might not happen in any case but at least I will be more honest with my feelings and I would have tried.
From my diary when I was ten.
"Today we had gym class in school and I wore a leotard. When I came down to the gym "X" said to me -Aren't you on a diet?
Then I ,of course, said -NO Why?
-Because you are fat, you could at least wear a t-shirt.
Wasn't that mean?"
"Today is monday and I don't feel well, but I have been to school anyway. The boys have bullied me and after school they hit me in the face with snowballs! NOT A GOOD DAY!"
I started writing in this diary when I was 9 and I am sure it helped me quite a lot. Still to this day I write every evening before bedtime.
One really nice thing about this particular diary is that I have written about David when we were a couple for the first time, when we were ten and eleven. I'm going to share that story with you soon.

Oh, and to write longer posts in english without being afraid of making a million errors was one of the things I have been scared of before so I guess I can tick that off the list now!

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