Sunday, March 10, 2013

a reply to my coming clean

Here is a message I wanted to share from my artist friend Cindy.  We had art classes together in High School.

Hey friend!
It's such a funny time to get your invite to your new page because I was thinking about you today. I was in the hospital visiting my dad (he just had surgery) and was showing him some fb photos when I saw your post.
Hahaa! Sorry I am lousy at hitting "send" accidentally. Will continue.....

So... I started showing him and mom your photos of your art, which, they were really impressed with and loved! And that got me thinking of you..... So. I just read your "coming clean" article. I must say, maybe you've become a writer after all!
I hope you don't feel as hopeless as you sounded in your article! I'm sorry if I am being terribly blunt. I have no pretty words right now--my mind is so tired. I was just concerned and hate to think you are sad.
I used to think art was my life. Actually, it used to be. I gave up the hopes and dreams of my art partly because I felt I was beginning to hate it (even in college when I had to do assignments I felt were not true to me). Looking back, I can't believe I was so ridiculously "true" to myself that I chose to give it up rather than pursue it under special conditions. Does that even make sense?! I thought I could pursue it on my own... Or after a break, later. Well, then life happened and my art just didn't. Anyway... I don't admire you because I think you are living a glamorous life or have "made it", etc. I just wanted you to know that. I think you don't give yourself enough credit. I DO admire your will to keep your art alive through difficult times...through life---I didn't! I admire you for your courage to make that huge leap to a new world, not knowing what the outcome would be. And, I love to think that you are able to see things and do things you probably never thought you would. Yes, I think we all have fun seeing your posts and photos about all the lovely places you get to visit. And, I laugh (seriously, I really DO) that all your amazing events always seem to coincide with my trips to the dollar store! But, those events and lovely things don't make you YOU. You are deeper than that (see, I used "you" three times...I would make a lousy writer!).
I'm thinking I am just rambling again and not making much sense. Sorry, I'm tired... I will try harder to focus... I am in a hotel room with my mom and three kids... Oh my concentration!!!!
I guess what bothered me about your post was that you felt you were a fraud. You are not! Just because you don't advertise your disappointments or every sense of failure doesn't make you a fraud. You are you. You have struggled to be true to yourself even when it made things difficult or nearly unbearable. The only difference with you and every other person on this earth is that you are honest enough to admit you feel like a fraud! Everyone feels like a fraud from time to time. It's only emotion, not truth. There's a huge difference! Ask around.. Get some really honest answers. I don't know a single person who hasn't struggled with those same types of doubts. I know that almost every day I hear from one or another of my friends with real issues that they don't share with everyone. We are all hiding parts of us from most people. That's ok. We need to do that for our own sanity and protection. That doesn't make you a fraud, it just makes you like everyone else!
Anyway... I see that I am rambling... I am so sorry! And, I am too lazy to reread all this nonsense and delete, so I will leave it to you. How nice of me, huh?!
So... Everyone thinks I am the perfect mom. Do I feel that way. HA!!! So... I feel many parts of my life are too personal to share. That doesn't make me a fraud, it just makes me private. Oh... And, of course, I AM the perfect mom  hahaha!!!
Ok, time to quit torturing you with this endless email... Just know that if you need an ear, I am here. Not because of who I perceive you to be today, but because of the friend you were to me in my previous life. You were kind, honest, intelligent and worthy. And, I just believe that you still are. Don't lose sight of that! Who cares how much you sell, how "successful" you are, where you live, who you know? Just remember you are YOU... And that is something to be happy about.
Take care,

Sean McGinnis
Thank you for your email and for you.
I don't think I'm sad, well not about art. I don't feel like my art was a failure either, just that I failed at making it work. Just a statement of fact, if you will. I wrote in stream of conscious pretty much, so I didn't stop to think how it was coming out... I just got it out... I'm somewhat surprised that I seem sad. I mostly feel frustrated. I feel beaten too. But writing, and people's reaction to it were a step I needed to take to deal with it and go beyond it. the whole thing has just stopped me for over a year now. I'm ready to go on.
I think when you ramble, you make the most sense.
Fraud may not be the right word. There was just so much distance between who I really was and what really happened and what I imagined people thought. I felt dishonest. That is where the idea fraud comes from.
Your message and your being just simply and beautifully you and sharing that with me means a great deal to me.
thank you.

Sean McGinnis
PS, would you share your message on the blog? could I?

I knew if anyone could weed through my words and make sense of them it would be you. You are welcome to share my email--please edit as you see fit! I know it needs much editing and would not be offended!
I think what a lot of it boils down to is that we all know ourselves, or what we would like to have ourselves to be, better than anyone. It's hard to explain when we feel that people are getting the wrong idea about us, or we feel we are misleading everyone by leaving things out (not fully disclosing things?). And then, especially, when our lives do not become what we intended or imagined... It is so heartbreaking at times. Take heart--- you are not alone!
Thanks for understanding my ramblings!

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