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We are a little over halfway through 2014, and I’m already learning lessons that I wish I had many years ago. I have no doubt at all that this list will grow throughout the rest of the year, and so it should!

  1. Take risks:
    For my first EVER art show, I pondered many themes. I had ideas that consisted of more traditional (only because it was safe), and then Dave (other artist) and I had ideas that were more daring. We chose to be daring. We figured that if we were going to do this, we’d go all out. It turns out, that completely paid off! We had more visitors than ANY other single show at that gallery, and even sold books and paintings!
  2. Date yourself:
    I can recall a time that I wouldn’t be caught dead by myself in public. It used to symbolize that others would think that I had no choice but to be alone. Now, I date myself. I go to the movies alone. I go dancing on my own! Just last week, I did the robot dance alone, in the front of a full room of dancing college students–and never once cared what I looked like. (Although, I did find that guys mistake my being alone as loneliness. I correct them quickly!)
  3. Initiate healthy adult conflict:
    Lord have mercy!!! Years ago if I had of been hurt by what another said or did I never EVER would have said anything; this then sent the message that they could carry on with whatever they were doing.
    Recently, I approached (in an extremely friendly manner) really the only person I’ve had a “conflict” with in years, and privately let them know that what they said one time to mutual friends hurt my feelings. Even though it didn’t end the way I wanted it to, I left the situation with proof that the issue wasn’t about me at all. You see, we are taught to ignore those things, but sometimes addressing it in a very friendly, adult way changes the situation, and earns us a little more self-love because we know we deserve better than the treatment we are receiving. Don’t expect the apology that some aren’t willing (or aren’t ready to give). Sometimes we just have to know that we’ve done what we can, and walk away with a clear heart. We are only in control of our own hearts, not any other’s.
  4. Love those that don’t always love us.
    I’m a sucka for love–all types. I love to love. You’ve never met another that is in love with loving as much as I am. If I could glue everyone’s hands to one another to create the world’s largest hippy circle, I would. But, this is not the way the world works. In this world, there are people that will kick their way out of that circle. The best thing you can do for those people is let them go. You can love and let go at the same time. You can accept someone, yet not like their choices and actions. You can walk away from a person that chooses not to be nice to you, and genuinely speak highly of them everywhere you go. Loving others shouldn’t rely on whether or not they love us back.
  5. Do the robot-dance:
    No, seriously. Do it. Put on “Around the World” by Daft Punk and dance your booty off. Don’t look around to see who else is looking! Once you have begun, add in your own signature move. Call it the “Angela [insert your name where mine is] breakdance” and own that sucka! Now, go to a local dance hangout, and while all the youngins are booty-dancing, break out a huge smile and do your “[insert your name] breakdance.” How can you not be happy after owning your own dance, and dating yourself that night!

© 2014 Angela M. Carter

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