“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ―Theodore Roosevelt
"It's not about winning, it's not about losing, it's about showing up and being seen." -Brene Brown
April, 17th 2018, today after returning from a meeting I stumbled across this word on the ground in front of my new home. The last two days I've had disturbing dreams, not bad just intense, one that touched on boundaries and the other that played on co-dependency I guess. Two different people, and one I haven't even thought of for years. I decided to go have dinner and buy a few things so I could make coffee at my new place in the morning and I realized I still have not written my blog. Then it hit me, the topic was in this photo, a word I must have walked over every day for the last 2 weeks and never noticed until today. So let me explain why my blog is so important to me, it does not replace my recovery or meetings as my sponsor would say, but it allows me to release whatever baggage I may have from the previous week. Any creative blocks I may be having, struggles I may be experiencing, and joys and successes I want to share. Well, really it's just a way for ME to honestly, vulnerably share who I really am.
So I checked and saw that the last blog was written on March 9th, that's a good 5 weeks of stuff that's piled up. So tonight I sat for a moment and I didn't pray but I just looked up and said "Hey, you want to send me my words, help me unload.".
I started to prepare like I have been the last few weeks, distractions, trying to find the right motivational thing that would move ME. I grabbed my book Originals to read, then I grabbed my laptop, then I stopped and ate some cookies and tried to play some music, and of course, all I was doing was fearing what words would actually come out. So I stopped, turned off my music and put my book away, I ate all the cookies so that's no longer a problem. I searched the word ME on google, then I searched ME Brene Brown and I clicked on this talk she gave at 99U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk. I knew within minutes that this was the message I needed to hear.
The two most powerful messages I received today was the photo first and then the quote. The photo represented me stepping out of myself and then realizing it's me in the arena or arenas. See for 2.5 yrs if you know me, you know I have shared everything about me all the time, the freedom from the fear of judgement left me the day I surrendered. I shared things with the people who were around me daily, the ones that were recovering like myself, the strangers that emailed me and asked questions about their own struggles and I realized I was stronger for it. Stronger because I was no longer scared to be vulnerable. Then over the last year I grew my network of people to include anyone who wanted to follow, I developed a website and told my story as it happened.
I was inspired today by the talk Brene Brown gives in the link above. The success of my recovery and sobriety and creativity, innovation, love, belonging, joy, trust, empathy, all came from truly not fearing vulnerability and just showing up.
My words are just here to share the story but my actions are here to show you. For the rest of my life there will always be those people no matter how much sobriety I have under my belt or failures I have that will introduce me by my past problems first before my accomplishments. I accept that, but I have far more people that have truly paid attention to my journey and acknowledge the good and lift me when I fail. I would be a liar if I say I haven't worn some protective armor the last month fighting away some fear or emotions. And maybe thats why I havent written in over a month.
You may skip over my words daily and focus on the blue skies and smiling faces I post, the opportunities I have been blessed with but it is all the arena. I live in it, it's sometimes really hard, it is incredibly creative and inspirational, I feel alive more than ever. I want to do my best and I give my all. I'm am incredibly proud of my accomplishments and dedication over the last year, it has awarded me some amazing friendships, partnerships, present and future opportunities. It has also brought along some losses, incredible sadness.
You know I used to say I was going to do something great in my life, but I'm already doing it. What an amazing feeling to acknowledge that for myself. I lay my head down on my pillow every night feeling good about every action I took that day, what I've said or how I've treated others, and that's the stuff that counts.
I had two other situations happen this week, a friend messaged me about what to do with his work, he does the same thing I did for years and am about to do again. And someone asked me a few weeks ago what would I do if someone opened up that same business next to mine, well I have an answer to that and actually, I already did it years ago. I would go next door and ask how I can help, and then maybe see how we can build each other up. So I responded to the friend that messaged me and said don't give up, keep doing what you're doing, say no if you need to, and I'm here to help. There is somewhere that says "Let me help you fix your crown." there will always be another screen printer, artist, writer, it's the ones that openly share themselves that have the most success. I recently went to Solo searching for equipment and visited many screenprinting factories that sat with us for hours sharing their work and offering their help. That was pretty incredible.
The last situation was more personal but what was asked did not align with my character, but it was a great reminder of how I deal with things currently in my life.
So I guess I just needed to remind myself of who I am in the arena, continue to be courageous, loving, creative, honest, and never stop showing up.
Mucho Love, Jamie
And continue to release all energy that does not belong to me, so be it and so it is.