You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.Lara Casey
My powerful and dear friend Lara shared these words years ago and they have been such an encouragement to me.
A reminder that life is to precious to sit around and just dream. We need to get out there and DO the things we’ve always dreamed of. It’s a motto I’ve always lived by. I’m typically a go-getter person who sees a pin on pinterest, new recipe, idea, or project and immediately goes out to tackle it. I love to take on new and challenging projects at work in the garden or learning to write a grant for the first time.
I’ve also noticed that I tend to gravitate towards projects that I “know” I’ll succeed at: making a home garden (check), baking a blueberry pie with lemon, rosemary crust (check), planning and hosting a Spring crafternoon (check, check, check). They are all items that I know I would have success in, well if you don’t count the incident with my pup and a lemon strawberry pie…that is a story for another day.
But, I began to notice that there were things that I have always wanted to do. Things that were hidden so deep in my heart due to unbelief in my abilities or failure to risk.
And so, 2018 became the year of “Doing things I’m not great at!” I made it a goal that year to try one thing a month that I believed I wasn’t good at (flipping pancakes, swimming butterfly, painting, writing, memorizing scripture…). To dare to try out a list of seemingly “mundane” things that I had written off as “not my skills” or “gifts”. I am all for excelling in your gifts and not trying to do all the things perfectly, but I realized so many of these things were what I once found SO MUCH joy in, but one comment, failure or like had me placing them back on the shelf of unanswered dreams.
Painting has always been a dream of mine. As a little girl, I loved going to the Chicago Art museum and would gaze in wonder at the color, texture, and shapes of each painting. But ever since middle school art teacher gave me a “C” in Art class and called my drawing “horrific” I decided I was not an artist. Crafty, yes! Creative, of course! But an artist, NO WAY!
I decided to begin painting. I bought myself a simple watercolor paint set from Michaels and a pad of water color paper. I found a simple “lavender pot” tutorial and spent a sunny afternoon on the back porch watching, painting, trying again, messing up, relearning, and trying again. I took time to see how the paint moved and what colors looked best together.
My first tiny little watercolor was imperfect, yet so beautiful. It was a reminder that I could do hard things and that the dreams that I’ve always had, were worth chasing after.
I’m still working on my painting. I wish it came naturally to me, but it’s been such a great lesson in grace. A lesson in trying new things, failing, learning, and growing. There is strength when we let ourselves try those big scary goals and fail forward to flourishing.