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Growing Pains

"My job is to get you comfortable with being uncomfortable."   -- Glynn Hodges

I'm just going to say it - I'm exhausted.  Mentally and emotionally exhausted.  Over the past three weeks, I've introduced myself to strangers, entertained guests, asked people for help/favors, and given an oral presentation of my work.  It may not sound like much to you but to a shy, introverted, small town artist, it's a LOT!  In all these situations, even having friends stay at my house, I felt very exposed and unsure of myself.  But I put myself in these situations intentionally because I know it's good for me.  I know it will help me to grow as a person and as an artist.

Several weeks ago I found out about an opportunity for North Carolina artists to present their work to a museum curator.  Five minutes to present 15 pieces.  It's a fabulous opportunity but I did NOT want to do it.  So I played a little mind-game with myself.  I could easily talk myself out of doing it, but I knew if I told my business coach he would challenge me to do it, and I can't resist a good challenge.  So I did, and he did, and that's how I ended up spending most of the last week writing and practicing for this presentation.  (I cut the first half in the interest of time) 

Afterward, I realized the presentation wasn't that big of a deal.  The curator's response, however, was.  She simply confirmed my thoughts on the bull painting.  The validation felt good, but it also stung as I realized that I have a lot of work to do to get where I want to go with my paintings.  That's the result of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable: growing pains.  It's not my first experience with them and it won't be my last.  It's what drives us to reach new heights.

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