Friday, January 7, 2011

I did it!

It is "official" so I can now announce:

I have been chosen as a design team member for  
Better Living through Scrapbooking!

I am so excited to be a part of this site! Better Living is still a fairly new site so I feel like I am getting in on the ground floor of something big. I can't wait to challenge myself to try new things and share them with the readers!

So what led me to this wonderful experience? (Warning: long story to follow!)

I decided at the end of 2010 that my one little word for 2011 was "brave". Too often, I have let opportunities pass me by because I was afraid of something -- afraid of success, afraid of failure, afraid of even trying. That little voice in the back of my head saying, "What if you aren't good enough?" was often a bit too loud and it kept me from pursuing my dreams.

I have had several scrapbooking goals for several years now, namely to be on a design team and to have my work published in a magazine. However, though my friends and family have always complimented my work, I never thought it was "good enough" to be put out in public. I gathered up all of my courage and applied to one design team last year and was not chosen. I was devastated. My worst fears were confirmed. I wasn't "good enough."

In the last couple of months of 2010, I was getting quite depressed. I had no job (despite sending out numerous resumes and applications) and I was stuck in a rut. Then a wonderful thing happened: I took an online class called "Inspiration Everywhere" from the wonderfully talented Jessica Sprague. In this class, we made an art journal. Now that may not sound like a big deal, but for me it was. I sometimes have a hard time thinking "outside the box". I am a rule follower and don't want to rock the boat. I never considered myself an artist, so why would I need an art journal? Hesitantly, I bought my supplies and went to work.

Almost as soon as I began to work on it, I began to feel free. There were no rules. There was no plan to follow. I could use whatever materials I wanted. I could draw or write anything. No one was going to judge my efforts; it was all for me. So what if I "messed up"? I could rip it out and start over! It was there and then that I decided I liked this feeling of freedom. It was then that I felt brave.

The best part of the art journal was one of the first things that I put in it. On the dedication page, I dedicated my book to my inner artist. Up until that point, I never even knew I had an inner artist. I then found a sticker (from the lovely folks at 7Gypsies) with a quote from someone named Brian Andreas that said, "For a long time, she flew only when she thought no one else was watching." Wow. Just wow. My life in a nutshell.

After playing with my art journal and jumping headfirst out of my comfort zone, I decided that my goal for 2011 was to be brave. I would make no resolutions about losing weight or cleaning house more or any of the many other resolutions I had made in the past. I resolved to be brave. If I could stand up and be brave, everything else would fall into place. After all, it was my fear that kept me from succeeding at my resolutions before.

So I did it. I applied for a job that I knew would be difficult to get. The little voice said, "You aren't qualified for that," but I did it anyway. Guess what? I got the job (more on that later!).

I then gathered my best scrapbook layouts to submit to a design team call. The little voice said, "These are not as good as everyone else's layouts. Why would they choose you?" Guess what? I sent in my application and I was chosen.

I then made a few things for a call for magazine publication. The little voice said, "Do you really think these are good enough to put in a magazine?" Guess what? I sent them in anyway. I don't know if I'll be chosen or not, but at least I tried. That was more than I have done before.

Most of us, especially women, have feelings if inadequacy. We never think that we are "enough" and we let fear of rejection or ridicule control us. If you are one of the scared girls, the not-good-enough girls, the sidelines girls, stand up and be counted. Stand up and be brave. You can do it. You never know how it may change your life.


  1. The first comment above was me, but stupid google used a weird name for some reason :-(

    Congrats on being brave! Trust me, men go through the same things too though they would rarely admit it.

    When I was in school earning my degree in art and design I roomed with someone who was extremely talented, much more than I was. He never be-littled my work or said anything that wasn't intended to be constructive, yet I found myself pretty intimidated by him. To this day I still struggle with that feeling. It took me 7 years after school to finally catch a break as a designer. After going from freelance jobs and unsuccessful full time gigs I found myself taking a chance on a job that wasn't in my wheelhouse. Taking a risk paid off!

    Bravo miss and continued success!

  2. Congrats brave lady! I can't wait to see what you to on the design team. I hope 2011 only bring more good things your way. You're inspiring me to take risks and go for what I want. Thanks.


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