Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we are chatting about changing perspective and staying focused on the bigger picture. So, let’s get this sitting-a-spell party started with a good cup of coffee–which my newest coffe crush is Café L’Orange available at The Fresh Market.
I drive a white Beetle. I call her Sugar because I have “The Sugar”–growing up as a kid in rural Mississippi, I heard this term a lot…I wasn’t sure exactly what “The Sugar” was, but from all the horror stories I overheard at the funeral home…I knew it made people blind, caused leg amputations, and kidney failure. Imagine my horror when I was diagnosed with it. Any who…today’s chat is not about diabetes. It’s about Sugar, my car, and how her trip to the car wash changed my outlook.
I love my car. She drives great, gets good gas mileage and has been with me on every move and numerous road trips since 2008. I’ve no plans to get rid of her because we’ve been through a lot together. Occasionally, I treat her to a spa day because every girl deserves to be pampered.
I have no idea how many times in my life I’ve been to the car wash. My math skills are poor at best, and I don’t want to think about my actual age–I feel like I’m in my late 20s….
Anyway…my most recent trip to get Sugar spiffy was different. I’ve been feeling blah and frustrated with myself for a few months now. I have been going through the motions of living. Eat. Shower. Sleep. Laundry. Vacuum. Unpack boxes. Search for misplaced items. Write a little. Explore a little. But just surviving…not thriving. I’m not complaining. Just simply explaining that I haven’t been at my best. I’m not even sure if I’ve been performing at a mediocre level.
I’ve been so worried and focused on not having a real job with a real paycheck that I lost sight of what I do have. I’ve been so busy trying to figure out my life that I forgot to live…to thrive…to grow where I’ve been planted. I’ve been so focused on how to make money with my artistic and creative talents that I shut down my own creativity.
I would pick up a paintbrush and freeze. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t feel anything. The blank canvas just stared at me…mocked me. I couldn’t make one stroke…not one dot. Nothing. The more I tried to paint…to create…the more I panicked…what was I going to do?
I have been trying so hard to envision the next phase of my life. Telling myself that the move to Johnson City, where I knew no one except the hubby and the daughter, was an opportunity to reinvent myself. Sadly, I’ve no idea how to do it…to get to the next level.
Until yesterday, I had resolved to turn my newly painted and organized art studio into a fitness room. Toss out the laughing brushes and burn the mocking canvases. And welcome the treadmill and showcase the yoga mat.
But then…something happened at the car wash. I looked up and saw beautiful colors. My sunroof was a living Jackson Pollock painting. My windshield was an evolving abstract canvas. The colors were neon. The movement was mesmerizing.
I’ve been so busy comparing myself to other artists…trained artists. I’ve been so worried about not being educated in fine arts…not knowing all the fancy art terms and every single artist that has ever lived. I’ve been so focused on competing with Pinterest projects and parties…creating something “pinnable”…that I shut down…I shut out my true self…I shredded my own confidence. I lost my vision…my perspective.
The pressure of stats and social media numbers had me choked down. Paralyzed. But there in the car wash…with the soap bubbles and God…I realized that I had to give myself a break. Some breathing room. Freedom to make mistakes. I had to release myself from the chains of perfection. The self-condemning had to go.
At that moment, I was reminded that worrying accomplishes nothing, but a blank canvas…that worrying is living without thriving. And I asked myself that question we have all heard a million times…”What would I do, if I knew I would not fail?” *deep breath*
Paint, write, and be a public speaker.
No, I’m not a professionally trained artist or published writer. I haven’t traveled the world gathering inspiration. I haven’t saved a baby duck or participated in a protest. But I have this ember inside me that desperately wants to become a fire. Talents buried inside me that want to be used. I know that finding my way won’t be easy. Accomplishing my dreams will be harder than I can imagine or plan for…but…God knows what I need and when I need it. With Him, the impossible is possible.
All this time I have been afraid my biggest career successes were behind me. But there in the car wash, I found hope. Those colorful suds washed away my pity and self-doubt. I didn’t need to travel the world for inspiration and self-discovery because they were in the deluxe wash.
Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the change of perspective I had in the car wash. I encourage each of you to look around at all the beautiful wonders and to not only live, but thrive *smile*