Creative Health + Play Event part 2

As I said yesterday, Stacy Julian was one of the first to ever take a chance on me and let me do my thing. To encourage me to dream crazy ideas and go for it. She has always encouraged me to be ME – and that is a gift I have and will always treasure. It is one of the things I love most about her – that she sees people and encourages them to be their best selves. Truly one of the kindest souls I have the pleasure of knowing.

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So I’m sitting at a table with all those ladies you see above. I’m looking around and sitting next to me on one side is Ali and on my other side Tammy. Down the table a mix of ladies I know, ladies I’m just now meeting, and dear friends.

and all of a sudden it just hit me like a ton of bricks.

I am at this table too…

Now that might sound totally stupid, and you might be thinking “duh”… but if you read my post yesterday then you know more of my history. You should know that NEVER, not on ANY of my lists of dreams and aspirations for my crafting did “be headliner teacher at major creative event” make it onto a list. That was too big, that was beyond me. I wouldn’t ever be at that place.

But I’m sitting at the table, preparing to present at such an event. And on a stage with women I admire so very much – as one of them.

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Now obviously my being at this event wasn’t a surprise. I signed a contract. Made a class. Prepared for it. I knew perfectly well what I was doing.  Yet somehow I hadn’t thought about the fact that I’d be at this event really doing it. In person.

Here’s the thing. I teach (almost always) at HOME. I sit down, dream up my ideas, make my classes, and do all the work before anyone sees it. Quite often while wearing pajamas. And then? They see it from their own homes. I don’t see their faces. I don’t see their reactions or see if they are into what I’m throwing down. And honestly? That’s how I have the nerve to do what I do. Because I create, I play and have fun and do my thing and don’t really think about the fact that someone is going to see, judge, and have opinions about me.

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I’m not a public speaker. I don’t get up on stages. I sure as heck don’t volunteer to hold a microphone and present anything. These things TERRIFY me. The thought of public speaking makes me want to go hide under my desk.

So… why had I signed up for this?!

I took a deep breath (or ten), cracked a few jokes, and focused on the moment.

I focused on the ladies who were all SO kind and lovely and relaxed a bit more. I looked around at how much positive energy + creativity was in the room.

On the amazing team that put this event together.

On the incredibly talented ladies sitting next to me, also in crazy balloon hats.

I just thought about all the stuff I love about crafting in general, embraced all of the amazing energy, and ran with it.

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It was terrifying – not going to pretend it wasn’t – but it was also completely amazing and totally worth it. I put “creative health” on this 2-part blog post because this was a huge creative  growth opportunity and the absolute most amazing experience I’ve ever had teaching for so many reasons. You really do have to take leaps in life and do stuff that scares you – otherwise what is the point?

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There was such a great energy here and it was so hard to process that I was here. This was something *I* was a part of. Among the “have fun” and “you’ll do great” supportive texts and messages I got was a voice mail from one of my favorite people.

You know your shit and you are talented and you are beautiful and you are just going to get up there and people are going to freaking love you. They just want you to succeed…

I will be quoting her in my next art journal page. Her words? They hit the heart of me and made me realize that this was a place where everyone was rooting for each other.

I had no reason to be so scared. I was among friends, among truly positive people who WANT ME TO SUCCEED.

Dang if that didn’t make me tear up quite a bit.

I embraced her words, reviewed my notes, and went for it.

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I will be scrapbooking this in a pocket-page album (which yes, I will be sharing when I finally print photos!)

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I truly had the most fun every single minute of this event. Talking to lovely crafters, enjoying the atmosphere and connecting with so many people from all over the world as well as being in the same room with people I work with but never see. I so cherish this experience – I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.

My favorite part was definitely after when I got to chat with people, got to sit down and enjoy lunch with crafters, got to check out their layouts and just simply be in a happy and wonderful creative place.

I wish I had been able to stay the whole day and watch more of the classes – as it was I had to miss several due to my afternoon flight home and parts of others because I had to pack a lot of stuff into not enough bags.

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Every single one of the instructors inspired me in some way- as did every attendee I spoke to. Such a gift for so many reasons.

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As I flew home I felt like I had gained a renewed sense of purpose. Validation that just doing my own thing and not stressing out about if it would be popular, or if  I would be judged negatively for my views was the way to go.

A reminder that I have stories to tell and that I want to be a part of this community.

A reminder that whenever, however I can uplift, inspire, and encourage fellow creative friends I want to. I want to be there for others, to be someone who gives a smile and thumbs up to all kinds of creativity.

I want to be someone who has kind words to say about myself, as well as frequently saying kind things about other people.

I am reminded that I want to keep doing what I do, but also seek out ways to do even more and continue to grow…

and this is where I am heading into February 2014…

Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading yesterday and today’s post May, very inspiring read. Must admit I have faced some of these issues myself and found your posts uplifting and encouraging. I am thrilled you are now enjoying and embracing your art and enjoying the journey along the way. Huge congratulations. Tracy x x

  2. Kelly Block says:

    Just had to post a comment here,even though I’m usually one of the anonymous people who love to read your blog and take your classes but prefer to stay quiet. May, you were one of the first people I came across online who truly inspired me to start creating in my own style and showed me how to begin the journey of just having fun with crafting. In the area of the country I live in, it’s hard to find people who scrap in a more artful, crafty style and I find it very inspiring to read your blog and take your classes to fuel my creative spirit and find inspiration. Please know that even though some of us may be the quiet types, we are here and very grateful for your generosity of spirit that allows you to share with us. Kelly

  3. May, I just want you to know how much the last couple of days’ posts have meant. I keep remembering sitting next to some random stranger at a crop that go so upset with me when I poked a hole through my layout to set a brad. She wanted me to snip off the prongs and use a glue dot. Then she wanted to know where I had gotten my idea for the layout and didn’t seem to believe I could make it up from my head. I scrap and share because I enjoy scrapping and the sharing. I get ideas and inspiration from everywhere and I hope that maybe on some level I can pass some of that on to someone else. You are so refreshing in your… this is how I do it, see what you like kind of attitude. Thanks for being true to May!

  4. WOW! Thanks for sharing your heart in these posts. Both your work and your journey inspire me. You are truly Be-YOU-tiful.

  5. Wonderful posts! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Such an inspiration. So happy for you.

  6. Marcie Lovett says:

    How very courageous to share all this, May! You have come quite a long way in your creative journey and there are lots of people (including me!) who are thrilled to be part of it. Looking forward to what the future brings for you.

  7. Thanks so much May for sharing this heartfelt journey with us! You are not only a talented designer but you are a beautiful person too.

  8. michelle t says:

    Thank you for sharing part of your story (yourself, really) these last two days. Very inspiring. Your message is important. Michelle t

  9. So glad she did take a chance on you as I have taken many if your BPC classes. You definitely put your heart and soul into them. You are so generous with your time and your positive attitude is catching. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt post. I haven’t scrapped in a while for a variety of reasons. I resigned from a DT position recently due to a change in circumstances for my family. I always felt like I was being judged as not good enough during that time. It’s time I got back into scrapping for me. I have watched your Play video and read the handouts. Today might be a good day to actually do something and scrap :)

  10. Laura Turcotte says:

    Thank you! I truly enjoy reading your blog in general. These past 2 posts have really told me that it’s ok to be me. So, thank you. And please don’t’ change! You are such an inspiration to me.

  11. So cool – it must be surreal when you think about it – you have achieved your goals and many more! And I loved your presentation at Play!

  12. May,
    “You Go Girl”.
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are a true inspiration.
    Good luck in all of your future endeavors. I’ll be here – learning away from you.

  13. Leanne in CA says:

    Love this, thanks so much for sharing and hopefully you know how much we all love seeing your creations, videos, use of products, “original creativity” in making things, use of color, etc, etc, I could go on and on. Love taking classes from you, meeting you at Scrapbook Territory and watching your layouts and cards come together. We’re in it for the long haul. Have an absolutely fabulous weekend!!

  14. As I watched Play on my computer I soooo wish I could have been there in person. I could feel the energy though the computer. Keep being the happy scrappy you.

  15. May, ignore those nasty nay-sayers!! You are awsome. I truly enjoy your blogs, classes — and basically all things May! You have changed the way I scrapbook and I thank you for that! Looking forward to your next class – and the ones after that. I am a big fan and would love to meet you one day to say thanks in person.

  16. I must admit that you hid your nerves extremely well. I would’ve never known you didn’t teach in real life regularly if you hadn’t spelled it out. Sitting in that room with you felt like the same May that I ‘knew’ from your online classes. You did a great job, and I hope to sit in on another class with you again sometime.

  17. Oh, May! I was just now able to begin to catch up on my e-mails and your two posts about “Play” and your journey are so meaningful. I wanted so badly to be able to attend. My sis-in-law, best friend, scrapbooking buddy, passed on in October; and I knew this would be a very good thing for me to attend on several levels. But another family member has been in an extremely difficult situation and so I was at their home instead, only about 25 minutes away from you all. It was very uplifting to read how this was a meaningful event to you. And I completely understand the “don’t tell me I can’t” reaction. Someone once gave me that same kind of message regarding my singing voice – and I went on to excel as a soloist and group performer. That was about 47 years ago and I’ve never heard another negative comment about my singing. It affected my entire life, as I see myself as a “can-do” person, no matter what comes against me. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate you opening up on your story, and I hope it encourages many others.

  18. Jessica Lee says:

    Hi May,

    I was very fortunate, lucky, blessed (there are not enough words!) to be at Play. You were awesome. Everyone was awesome. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to you but I loved listening and learning from you.

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