Friday, October 22, 2010

Sounding Off

There is nothing worse than being self-conscious. It limits creativity, weakens resolve, and leaves one feeling inadequate and tentative. I’m experiencing all of those feelings of late, and it’s affecting my ability to blog, to paint, and to write.

While I’m currently enjoying my portrait class, there are voices over my shoulder pointing out the flaws in my implementation. Some of those voices are mine as I over analyze and over concentrate; so I end up turning my once fluid brush strokes into stiff adulterated jabs. Other voices come from without as well-meaning friends and relatives offer advice or compare my painting to the photograph I’m working from; a photo digitally prepared and far from the natural skin tones.

My writing is suffering from the same self-consciousness. People don’t always agree with my opinions or points of view, but instead of accepting the fact that the world is full of differing opinions, they must prove that I’m wrong and they’re right. Maybe I’m getting thin skinned, but it’s difficult enough to put yourself out there without getting a barrage of criticism for doing it.

Why does it always have to be the “squeaky wheel” that gets the grease? Why does the aggressive driver own the roadway? Today, everyone’s a critic and everyone has the “right” answers, especially politicians. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad when this election cycle is over.

Our world could use a little more kindness and civility. We need a strong dose of integrity and the needed backbone to tell the truth. We could also use more humor and less negativity. Like Tom Sawyer, we need to white wash the picket fences in our lives and bring a fresh perspective into our homes, our neighborhoods, and the world.

Come to think of it, I’ll start right now. Maybe if I tame those misbehaving paint brushes and beat them into submission, I’ll get over my self-consciousness.