The Art of Being Vibrant

I attended a great wedding this afternoon. My lovely friend Gayle married her love. Aside from it being a wonderful reception and glorious afternoon, this also means I can finally spill the beans! I tweeted a few days ago about working on a very top-secret piece. It was their wedding gift, and since it has been delivered to them I can finally show it off!

This was my first piece done with filling in letters, and my first one incorporating colored pencil into the work. I did this in a sort of lime green, a sky blue, and a darker lighter-than-midnight blue, and in case it isn’t obvious (my work looks so much better in person!) the gray is actually silver. Goodness, I hope they like it!!

While there I had the pleasure of meeting two lovely local artist ladies. As it turned out we had a lot in common, even some really freaky things in common, and we spent the entire afternoon gabbing about art and life. At one point while sitting there with them I noticed, kind of as an outsider, just how vibrant they are and for a split second I wished I could be vibrant like them. And that’s when I stopped and realized that I already am vibrant like that and I always have been, it’s just that most people don’t know it. I’ve always had this kind of exuberant, emotive personality on the inside even if it didn’t show on the outside. I think I hide it a lot, actually, for all sorts of different reasons. And really, that’s just SILLY!

G&L Soulprint framed
G&L Soulprint framed

But I can’t really fault myself for that as I’ve been sick for so long that I’ve had to learn how to hold a lot of my excitement in because I couldn’t afford to spend the energy. I don’t talk about it much, but I’m chronically ill and usually pretty low on energy in ways that most people can’t comprehend. Think about having the worst flu you’ve ever had. Now imagine living like that, with that amount of energy and feeling that bad almost all the time. That’s what my life was like for a very long time. Over time I learned to be conservative with my energy, because if I used too much up, I’d be stuck in bed for a week. I think this is a big reason I’ve held down how vibrant I am and because of that a lot of people haven’t really gotten to know me that well, the vibrant energetic real me. They get glimmers of who I really am sometimes, but it isn’t an all the time thing. And I want it to be an all the time thing, or at least more often than it has been. I’d like for people to know the real me.

I also think another part is self-confidence. For many different reasons, not least of which is being sick, I haven’t had much self-confidence and didn’t have many ways to GAIN any either, so whenever someone didn’t like me or rejected me for being who I am, it was slowly chipped away until I didn’t have much left. This I’m sure made me seem even quieter and less vibrant than I even am, which just compounded the issue. I know it’s really silly to hinge my self-confidence on what others think of me, but I think when you’re as sick as I’ve been, it’s hard not to since you have nothing else to base your confidence on.

Man, I was so sick for so long, I don’t know how I even survived. It’s really amazing what being chronically ill can do to a person, how it can CHANGE you. I think a lot of people underestimate the hidden effects it can have on a person. The GOOD news is that my energy levels have been getting better, so this means I can do more things and slowly build my confidence back up until I’m just as outwardly vibrant as those uber-confident, wonderful, artsy ladies I met today. And then people can know the real me. (: