Posted in inspirational, On Life, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

Conversations 02: Allowing Myself to Make Mistakes

convos02

 

I’ve been struggling lately and though sometimes it helps to know the reason why, it doesn’t always make things easier.  Growing up, we were expected to always be perfect.  Of course, that is never possible… but we were punished often when we were less than stellar.  We weren’t taken to task just for the small things, but it was most often the small things.  Besides, if you are afraid to do the small things the larger things seem less possible.  I guess it’s a good way to ensure we stayed in line, but I don’t agree that it’s a good way to raise children.  It made life stressful.  I’d became afraid if I made even a small  mistake and it often made trying new things difficult.  Somehow, those feelings have still followed me, even though I have made great strides.

 

Somehow, I’ve learned to trust my voice and I still continue writing.  I have learned to change things though and perhaps that is why I’ve been more successful in that.  In high school, I was given journals to write in.  I loved writing and I loved my journals, but found it difficult because I always wanted things to be perfect.  I’d write in my journal and I would not like the way my handwriting looked or I would not like one particular line, but if I crossed it out, it would make the journal look horrible.  The journals (for some reason) were always those that were easily ruined if you tore out any pages.  It’s strange to think that I would hold myself to such expectations, but I guess we learn more from our experiences growing up than we realize.  I guess I could say that it has been a complete blessing to have a computer these days… I write and if I make a mistake, I can just go in and fix it.  No one would be the wiser.  And for that reason alone – I think I have given myself permission to write more than I ever would have.

 

Beyond that – and it may be apparent more to some than others – but somewhere along the way I learned to just force myself to write.  I learned to quiet those voices that wanted to be so critical.  I don’t spend hours deciding what I want to write, instead it is done more on the spur of the moment.  I also almost always post something immediately after writing it, whether here or somewhere else.  I do not spend a lot of time writing and rewriting or painstakingly questioning my choice of words, because if I do… I would not bother writing them at all.  Now, it is not to say that I don’t look over my posts after writing them, but I have to push that button first, without thinking too much about it.  I have to trust myself.  I guess you could say that this is my way of coping or perhaps it is just a way to force myself to challenge that perfectionist voice inside my head.  Not long after I submit a post, I will go back and read through it.  I often find errors… perhaps in typing, or in tone, or in word choice, but I have learned that is just the way things work.  If I spent so much time editing the words prior to posting, I would not be posting as much as I do.  This is one of the ways I have learned to overpower those voices that always want to question… those voices that always want me to silence my own.

 

I don’t know if everyone else struggles similarly, but I have even heard of famous artists, writers, and great thinkers feeling unhappy with their work.  Other times, I really enjoy a piece of work only to hear that some people during that artist’s lifetime felt the work to be unworthy.  It makes you realize the resilience of people, to see how self-doubt and other people’s perceptions could have forced them to easily give up, but they kept going.  Perhaps we all struggle with that in our own ways.  Realizing that many of the people we celebrate today… their spirit and talent that we celebrate today… all started at the beginning.  They did not just stand up and immediately achieve the results that they wanted immediately.  Most of that came from hard work and determination.  So I know I have to keep pushing myself… not because I will be a great artist, but because the only way that I can get better at what I want to do is to try.

 

As for my writing, there have been times when I have regretting writing something.  Other times I might have found my writing to be not as good as other things I have written.  To be honest, I am often rather amazed at the words that come to the page.  Those words would not have been possible, if I wasn’t willing to take a chance.  Now I know this is going to sound opposite of what many people might do… they will write, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite… etc. and then eventually post, ensuring every word is perfectly in place and has the right tense and it exactly what they wanted to say.  However, I know myself.  I know that if I were to allow my “editor” to be in charge of my writing, barely anything would be written.  Most of it would be found crumpled in the wastebasket.  Nowadays, I feel that writing is one of those things that (most of the time) I face bravely.  I just get up and do it.  I force myself and allow myself to make mistakes.  So, if you ever pass by here and find things a bit out of shape… know that I eventually go back and edit, but I have to let time pass so that I am not as critical of the words.  Instead, I can read the words as if they are not my own.

 

Sadly, I have been less successful in my pursuit of art.  I have no idea why (at all) but I have this huge burning desire to create.  I have no idea what my perfect canvas is, nor what medium I need to express myself in, but there’s this huge gaping hole begging to be filled.  Strange, isn’t it?  The problem is that I don’t know where to start… the minute I put pencil to paper or paintbrush to canvas, I seize up.  I’ve bought materials.  I’ve bought paints, charcoal, pencils, and the like.  Yet, the first marks I make are always quickly scrutinized and deemed unworthy.  It’s strange, I think – because I would not expect anyone to be a master artist the minute they take up art, but here I find myself, hand holding a paintbrush and I’m too afraid to begin.  Other times, I dive right in and finish, finding the work unworthy.  I find it odd that one can be so critical of their every move, but I think we often struggle between what we want and how we have been taught to value ourselves.  It might not be a struggle for all, but I’m sure that I am not alone.  I think that… even when we know how ridiculous it can be, we still succumb to those voices in our heads, but I’m refusing to give up.

 

Now I know that (in the past) I have shared some artwork.  Many of them were a labor of love.  I made them as gifts for other people and I hardly have one to claim as my own.  Somehow, it is so much easier to put the words or to paint an image when I want to show my appreciation for others.  I might not pick up the artist’s tools right away, but the transition from thought to finished produce it so much easier.  The problem only arises when I want to create something for the sake of just creating.  I don’t know where to start and I easily give up.

 

I’m still trying, you see.  I guess that’s why this post has given life to these struggles.  I guess I’m trying to be as brave in art as I have been for writing the words.  Last year I bought myself a sketch journal and I promised myself that I would do some of the lessons in the books I have gotten to do with the kids.  I was excited by the prospect.  The kids have pretty much breezed through their journals… often not even needing anything to prompt their artwork, nor any lessons.  Especially my youngest one who filled an entire large journal just over our vacation of three weeks.  It’s amazing to see them so full of belief in themselves that they just plow through it and I know that’s a gift.  My journal remains untouched.  That does not mean unopened by any means, but every time I have opened the page I worried that whatever I put there would not be worth the time it spent to make it.

 

So this week I have still been trying to force myself to just get in there a try.  I don’t care if it’s learning to draw, or paint, (just something) and overcoming the difficulty to believe in myself.  So what if I’m not an awesome painter?  So what if I can’t draw to save my life… but what if I actually can create something I would be proud of?  How in the world will I ever know if I’m too afraid to try?  I’ve had to remind myself of those things and I’ve tried to motivate myself, just as I have done for each of my children.  However, I guess some things are just more deeply ingrained.

 

I guess if there is one thing to be said about me is that despite my struggles, I don’t give up easily.  That… and I also try my best to understand myself.  If one way won’t work – I will try to find another.  So yesterday I went to the art store and bought a different type of art book, one in which you can paint or draw and then tear out the page should you so desire.  This way, if I’m not happy with it – it does not have to be permanent.  It will not blemish the rest of the book.

 

I’ve given myself permission to get rid of anything I am unhappy with, as long as I allow myself to create… and I promise to wait on my decision.  I don’t know if it is going to make a difference or not, but should I have time this week, I am going to try.  I’m hoping that someday I will learn to be as carefree as the children I have been blessed to raise and I also hope that I can be as gentle and as understanding toward myself as I have been for them.  I think we all need to learn to do more of that for ourselves and  I truly don’t believe that it is ever too late to learn.

 

© Sumyanna 2018

 

 

Posted in Daily Post Prompt, Free Verse Poetry, Historical Portrait Poetry, On Life, On Writing, Poems for Artists, Poems for Writers, Poetry, Sad Poems, Thinking Out Loud, Thoughtful Poems, Word Prompt

Reality tv

RealityTV (2)

 

At times, I think

the world prefers

a constant distraction

the bright, flashing lights

of profitable pursuits

that promise

longevity

strength

poise

and beauty

or perhaps,

a grand distraction

to see not,

where we once thrived,

a snake-oil pursuit

of dreams.

Were the sign not flashing,

none would ever see,

for the blandness

of her soil

would not warrant

inspection,

yet how much

is overlooked?

how much

is overlooked?

Just how much

beauty

is hidden

beneath the cracks?

and how much talent

curdles at the wayside

while people clip passages

(shoveling them through)

and the masses applaud?

Where are all

those unspoken dreams

those unfulfilled promises

and those downtrodden hopes?

While the creators create

the fruit

at their fingertips

sits among the cobwebs

waiting for someone to see.

The painters paint

in broader strokes

tearing at their chests

with worry

the writers write,

souls sent in whispers

across the pages

each sheet torn

tossed

and then repeat,

but the world

is busy

reaching for their popcorn

and consuming reality tv.

 

© Sumyanna 2017

 

Written for The Daily Post Prompt: prefer

Fabulous image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in On Life, On Parenthood, On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

I’ve Been Wandering Between Moments

Sorry to be such a quiet voice recently.  It’s not that we have been 100% busy (although close) but sometimes, I think – that life takes a little bit longer for us to fall into place.  Wherever that place might be, is sure to be full of surprises.

 

For those who don’t know the inner workings of a homeschooling life, know that we come in all shapes and sizes.  Some seek their goals, completely alone.  They choose the curriculum, teach, and provide all the necessary paperwork to the authorities all on their own.  Others still, send their kids off with their books and leave them alone.  Me?  I’m a different animal.  I have always loved learning new things – I have learned to love stretching my skills.

 

My earliest memories – learning to love learning, were definitely at my grandmother’s side.  When we went to visit, she would take out that big box of construction paper, scissors, glitter, paint – the whole works!  She urged us to use our imagination.  She urged us to desire to learn more – not only about ourselves, but the world around us.  When she learned I loved horses, she arranged for me to meet a fellow teacher on her farm to ride one of her ponies.  When I wanted to learn to sew, she wrote me letters about dressmaking and taught me to sew and crochet.

 

It is not that any of these things spurned me toward any certain direction.  I did not become a famous dress-maker, a veterinarian, or an artist, but she taught me the enjoyment of many things.  I learned then that the most important thing you can teach others is to enjoy the world around them, to enjoy the things that you can do and to always seek more in knowledge and ability.  For that reason, I teach the kids.

 

As much as I would like, I just can’t handle taking everything on.  I guess you could say I know my limitations.  So for us, we use a public school that also provides online curriculum.  Truthfully, I have found that there are pros and cons for all of the choices – but this is the one that fits us best.  That said, one of the most difficult things to deal with is time.  Even though the kids have teachers for their subjects – I am still their primary teacher.  I would not have it any other way and I guess that’s what makes me – me.

 

So when I say we are busy schooling, you better know that I am sitting at my computer most of the day, leading one kiddo through a math lesson and another through language arts.  We do that the entire day – only ending to make dinner and then sleep.  Sometimes, I am afforded the opportunity to seek my own goals outside of homeschooling.  It is then that I raise the camera or sit down to write.  In the busy moments, I am sometimes at a loss for such time.

 

This past month (or at least, most of it) was a time period known as “October Count.”  This is the time when funding is determined for schools.  During this time, we are required to do more online work and EVERYTHING is required to be done on time that day, no matter what.  So any flexibility in our schedules is thrown out the window at this time.  So in case you have wondered if I am okay… I am.  If you have wondered if I have run off… I wish 😉  I’ve just been wandering between the moments, hoping for a bit of fresh air.  Today, for just one moment – I was able to speak with you.

 

(c) 2017 Sumyanna

Posted in Free Verse Poetry, Inspirational Poems, On Writing, Poems for Writers, Poetry, Thinking Out Loud, Thoughtful Poems

I Did Not Choose the Words, but the Words Chose Me (a poem)

Writer

 

I have come

undone

while words

loom about me

and dance upon the page.

The sages speak…

you have not said enough,

you have not sung your hymn

with familiar tune,

and your syntax belies

the depths of poetic countenance.

Why fail ye – poet?

What do you bother

to tread this path?

We can tell ye how to speak,

which rhythmic tone to lilt your lines,

and how to make your daily speech

much more complex.

Is it not enough

that I breathe in air?

That I slowly linger

as I exhale?

That I thoroughly enjoy

all the moments,

the pauses,

and the stillness

in between?

Poetry

is like the silent song

that is whispered

across your soul

It begs for you

to learn the words,

speak their cadence,

and whisper in honest echo

“I recognize the beauty that you speak”

for now, I speak them too.

 

© Sumyanna 2017

 

Gorgeous image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

Learning to Step Out of My Comfort Zone (Because You Inspire Me)

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I just wanted to take a moment to say  THANK YOU.

 

For all of you who have followed my journey, shared a few steps, lifted me up when I was feeling down, sharing words of encouragement, sharing a little love – thank you.  I have been rather quiet (or at least quieter than normal) this past month and I feel I have you to blame 🙂

 

Even though I wrote as a teenager, I had stopped for well over twenty years.  Then, at least two years ago, I started writing again.  I started my first blog and it just didn’t fit right with me, but over time I had the courage to start another (this one) which I am just in love with.  A lot of it has to do with those of you who stop on by and share your stories with me as well as your kindness.

 

Your welcoming souls made me feel at home here. Not long ago, I would have never considered myself a writer, but it has been my passion. So I wrote and I shared and I grew. At some point, I finally grew comfortable with thinking I was a writer and I realized more than ever… it an essential part of who I am. I cannot even imagine that there was ever a point when my voice was silent, but I am grateful it is silent no more.

 

Now, I have not done anything monumental, but I did do something that is tremendously huge for me. I took the courage and prepared a book manuscript for the Emily Dickinson First Book Award. I submitted it on Saturday and won’t hear anything back until the end of April.

 

It is not that I am assured a win, but it is more about growing as a person to finally believe in yourself enough to try. I am seriously proud of my achievement and I have to admit it was one tough job because for some crazy reason I have written massive amounts of poetry in these last two years.

 

Essentially, the book is a collection of mostly Portaits Poetry interspersed with some of my other favorite poems (inspiration, nature, etc). I was able to bring the volume down to 73 poems that I hope are my best. If things don’t work out – I really do think I will (at some point) pursue getting it published, but that is definitely a thought for later.  I am way too pooped to think of it now!

 

Just wanted to thank you for being the wind beneath my wings in so many ways. You guys are just amazing and I could not be prouder to be in your company, considered a friend and a fellow poet.

 

Thank you,

Sumyanna

 

Beautiful image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted in Inspirational Poems, On Writing, Poems for Writers, Poetry, Thinking Out Loud, Thoughtful Poems

Raise Your Pen, Dear Poet

Because we hear enough negativity in the world as it is.  Sometimes we just need to be told how beautiful our view can be.  Dedicated to all those who bravely take up that pen.

 

raiseyourpen

 
It takes bravery, I know
To lift up that pen
To give life to words
Despite the incompetence we feel
In expressing them.
It is not to say
We cannot discover the folds of a rose
Detail its edges
Portray its scent
But we see with eyes
That yearn to unravel
The mystery
Beneath what is commonly known
I salute you, my friend
For bravely bearing the standard
Of artistic freedom
Of knowing deep within your heart
That no one can say your view is wrong
It matters not
That some choose to paint in brushstrokes bold
Or that others prefer
A more muted hue
We are all artists after all
Even if we do not know it yet
Raise that pen fiercely, my friend
And bravely go where others
Have never had the strength to tread
For in the end,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
And no one is more adept
At finding the beauty of your words
Than the one who cherished them enough
To bravely pen them down.

© Sumyanna 2016

 

Beautiful image courtesy of Pixabay.com