I’m going to blog for 30 days straight starting May 1st. No biggie. If you want to join me, please visit every day and pop your link in the comments. 

In April, I lost my pretty. I just couldn’t find it anywhere. Every day found me facing the mirror with one helluva grimace and these words turned way up to 11:

Who IS that haggard looking woman? Where did my FACE go?

This is what happens when you’re depressed and crying all the time. Yes, you have to move through it. Yes, you have to sit through the pain, but while you’re in it, it can feel a little bit like your pretty has gone missing. It can feel a little bit like YOU’VE gone missing.

Endings that you don’t want are weird that way. It can be a little like you got left behind in the thing you didn’t want to end and in your place stands this person you no longer recognize. Your happy? Back there. Your vim and vigour? Back there. Your get up and go? Got up and left.

Not entirely true, because no matter what’s going on, my get up and go never quite gets up and leaves, but true enough for our purposes.

Yesterday, I said “TRIBE?? I lost my pretty. HALP!”

I wasn’t looking for beauty advice or (pleasegawdno) advice on how to get over it, move on, be happy alone, etc. etc. I know all about all those things. I was looking for those who could to remember my pretty and send it back to me in the form of witnessing and gentleness and lighting candles and praying prayers.

Why’s my pretty so damned important that I’d ask my tribe to help me find it?

Pretty is how I operate in the world. It’s a head up, shiny-eyed kind of attitude. It helps me greet the barista with a smile. It helps me say hello to strangers. It helps me feel like myself. And no, it’s not about looks, though the me of January was smokin’ in my eyes and the me of April was not so much. But that not so much stemmed from how I *felt*. How we feel shows up in our bodies and faces. What we’re experiencing gets tattooed on the body in the form of dark circles, a perpetual frown, sloped shoulders, puffy eyes…

Anyway, I asked for help finding my pretty, and I got it, and I’m grateful.

Ti reminded me how brave and beautiful it is to ask for what you need. There was a time when I had a lot of not-so-kind people in my tribe, and asking for what I need would result in someone calling me an attention whore or whiney or accuse me of vague booking. Despite having had those kinds of experiences, I still blog and post the truth of my experience. Despite the fear that someone will come kick me when I’m down, I can still admit when I’m down and ask for witnessing. Ti is right. That IS hella brave. That is medal-worthy.

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This is me, feeling like a goofball because I lost my pretty and then FOUND IT.

*Grabby hands where is my medal*

What I’ve learned though is those who react negatively to someone else having feelers tend to be pretty wounded. I mean, why else would you kick someone when they’re already down unless you are in possession of a big old pus-filled wound yourself? So now, if I get negative feedback in response to my pain, I bless it. It is a gift. It reminds me that *I will not end up bitterly crapping on anyone* because *I’m not repressing*. I’m sharing. I’m getting loved up when I need it, and because I get my loved up rations taken care of regularly, I can love you up, too.

Win!

The Internet tells us Haters Gonna Hate. You know what, though? I think haters are hurting. I think blessing them is better than writing them off. You know what else? Blessing them makes me feel a whole lot prettier.

And that’s shiny!

***

In Other News

The 30 Day Painting Challenge starts today, and I already spent about an hour making a really disgusting looking mess on a 6 x 8 canvas. I got discouraged (not a great way to start a challenge), pulled out a jar of Absorbent Ground, and slathered it on. This is very rare for me. Usually I ‘push through’, but this challenge is not about that. It’s about getting 30 paintings out in 30 days. Pushing through on something I absolutely hate sounds like a big waste of time right now. Slather, begin again. If I don’t have something finished by the end of the day, I’ll carrying it over into tomorrow.

I’m feeling pretty determined, even if I am off to a craptacular start.

And that’s it for now.

I’d be tickled to have you in BOD2014 V2. We’re only on week one, so booya! Come on over. 

 

 

Before You Go

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P.S. If you believe white privilege isn't a thing, that we are a post racist society, that 'the wall' is a good idea, that artists should shut up about social justice and stick with posting pretty things, or that gay people are going to hell, please don't join this list. I'm definitely *not* going to be your cup of tea. Thank you!

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