I’ve been avoiding posting anything on my blog because I’m dealing with a bad case of the doubts. There’s big Juneteenth event being hosted by the NAACP this coming Saturday and I’m a vendor for it. I’ve been saying for a couple of years now how I tend to sell better in person and I should do events, conferences and shows. Of course I’ve come up with a bevy of excuses why I couldn’t do that just yet. My usual excuses are: “I don’t have enough money” and “I just need to design the right product”. I was going to skip out on doing the Juneteenth celebration because I didn’t have the money to secure my spot. I didn’t ask anyone for the money, of course not, that would be proactive. You see I let doubt slip in again. I back tracked, but I was given another opportunity to move forward.

My aunt, who had told me about the event, asked me if I planed to do it. I told her I wasn’t doing it because the spot cost too much. So she offered to pay for it. This stunned me. I had assumed she looked down on me not having a “real’ job, but here she was encouraging me to do this big event and even offering to pay for me to attend. Her funds are tight, she has a decent sized family to take care of and is a single mom who works super hard. But she really wanted me to seize this opportunity and I realized I wanted to seize it as well.

So I stepped forward, accepted her offer and began to panic a bit, wondering how to make enough money to make her sacrifice worthwhile. The good news is, I have been fighting the panic. The bad news is when I’m about to win the fight, I put down my sword.

I’ve had some small successes:

  • I’ve attempted realism for the first time in years (turned out great but I almost wrecked my paintings thinking they weren’t good enough)
  • I’ve kept going despite encountering a bevy of obstacles, man when it rains it pours… which reminds me
  • Rain or shine, I’ve been driving of my on free will, I might even drive to the Juneteenth celebration this weekend
  • I tutored my cousin (this I’m most proud of since I still have a tendency to think of myself as dumb, old habits can be hard to kill like zombies that want to eat you alive-which is why you should kill them)

I retract my claim that these are small successes. These accomplishments are big deals, they are part of my future. They signal a change in habit and thinking. So while I have had mixed success in battling my doubts, at least I’m fighting. And I’ll continue to fight, with my sword of courage and my shield of faith.

I ask you all to fight the good fight with me and never give up. Why? Because you’re more than capable of winning.

My next post will have pictures of my paintings and some of my other creations for the Juneteenth. What’s the use of making art if I’m too afraid to show it to anyone?


Better Late Than Never

So, I meant to post about my driving adventures on Sunday. However I was sick Sunday as well as the following days. Those days offered my a lot of time to think and some very good things came out of my sickness.

I tend to have ‘interesting’ luck, some might say I’m jinxed. But I find most of the stuff that happens to me funny. It’s like a slapstick comedy with a live audience.

Previously I mentioned that I would practice driving during a road trip, now that I have my permit. Well I did just that last Saturday. Here’s the story:

The day started off with a hitch. I spilled thick hot soup all over my left arm, burning it badly. My mom instructed me to run said arm under cool water, dry it and apply toothpaste to soothe it. Now I was thinking the toothpaste thing sounded far fetched but I was in so much pain I would have tied scorpions to my arm if she told it might help. I even considered cutting the arm off and being done with it. Compared to those options toothpaste seemed a far more reasonable solution.

To my surprise it worked. Still, the day was very hot and I soon discovered that my fresh burn was sensitive to heat. Yeah, that was all sorts of not fun. But I was endlessly amused by people’s reactions to my blue and white arm. One lady even asked me what happened and advised me to ice it. She was sweet. I took her advice and my discomfort subsided. Thank you random lady I met in the restroom.

I even drove with my rad toothpaste covered arm. The first time was horrible. I was a nervous wreck, making my mom nervous so she started yelling at me (while saying she wasn’t yelling, this too I found funny). It was noisy and there were so many distractions, I’m very global. So I didn’t drive for long before switching back to the passenger seat.

The second time, and yes there was a second time, I put it into my mind not to panic about anything. I adjusted the seat and put on my glasses (though I don’t legally need them for driving) and got comfortable with the idea that I was putting my life, my mom’s life and the lives of others into my hands. I told myself I’d take care of those lives, because I could.

This time I was content, peaceful even. Then the sunny sky turned dark grey and rain came down in buckets on the windshield. It got so bad I couldn’t see the lines on the road. And I actually smiled because, long ago when I had just started driving, me and my mom took a a road trip. When I took my turn behind the wheel the sky turned from sunny to dark grey and rain poured. History was repeating itself. Only back then I was terrified and now I was peaceful. I had decided to be peaceful.

Never before did I think I had that choice. I didn’t know I could chose to be peaceful. I thought peace was just something that’s given to you by who knows what. But now I know it is an act of will and my will is stronger than I thought. I drove through the rain, I drove in the darkness and I never once lost my peace, because it wasn’t something I could lose. No, I would have to kill it to get rid of it, because it is part of me.

Be peaceful and sleep well.