What Would You Do . . .


. . . if you were guaranteed a positive reaction to your effort or decision?  Follow me down the rabbit hole (after all, it is nearly Easter).

I was talking to a friend recently about our mutual realization that we probably worry a bit too much about what others think. We didn’t go deep into the why of it; we were intent on enjoying our lunch. Instead, we briefly shared how this trait shows up in our respective lives. Curiously, we didn’t touch on how (or if) it impacts our creativity, though we both pursue creative work.

A few days later, I told a different friend, this one a talented visual artist, that I wanted to create a mosaic with our house numbers . . . something I could put on a large rock for the end of our driveway. I’ve had the idea in mind for over a year. We live on a cul de sac and the house numbers are not sequential or in any way logical. The numbers we have on our house are often overlooked by delivery folks. We need something with more presence at the street. I could get a rock engraved, but I wanted something different. Something with a little more color and interest.  Something personal.

I’m not a visual artist. I’ve made a couple of mosaics in my life, with guidance, and I had so much fun doing them! And while I’m happy with the mosaics I made, I’m under no illusion that they demonstrate any great artistic or design skill. Still, I love that I was able to create something visual like that myself. Why not do something similar on a rock?  I wondered. Especially since I already have a decent-sized rock waiting to be used.

I started thinking about the shape of the rock in question . . . I considered colors . . . I began to cast around for design ideas.

That’s when it hit me: the end of our driveway. Our driveway.  And instead of feeling filled with anticipation and joy, I felt a tiny jolt of horror.

The rock, or, more specifically, the mosaic, would be on full display for everyone to see. Not everyone would like it. Some people might even point out its flaws, for flaws it would certainly have.

I’d stepped right back into worrying what other people would think.  

Mr. Petrol Head can relate. After twenty+ years of sporadically working to restore a 1959 Sunbeam Alpine, his restoration is nearly complete. So much so that he’s finally taking it to a couple of British car shows this summer. Everyone who comes loves cars, so he’s sure to get a lot of positive feedback. But he’s likely to get some ‘constructive’ feedback too. “It’s not 100%,” he admits. “And someone is bound to notice.”

Regardless, he’s taking a risk and putting himself out there. Instead of asking himself what he would do if he was guaranteed only a positive reaction to his efforts, he’s asking himself the only question that counts: what is he so excited to do that it doesn’t really matter what kind of reaction he gets?

I admire his attitude. The question is, can I embrace it? Only time, or more specifically the rock, will tell.

4 thoughts on “What Would You Do . . .

    1. You are so right, Darlene. I think that fear, whether realized or not, stops a lot of creative types. I understand it, but I don’t like it! So I’ll push on through and see how I do.

  1. You go, girl! And good luck with the rock. As long as the numbers are obvious and readable, it’s a great idea.

    1. Thanks, Lea. I think it will be fun . . . as long as I put my inner critic firmly in her place!

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