I read an article shared on social media for the second time last month. Here is the link and I found it to be a really important assertion. The article is about, my paraphrase, just put the damn swimsuit on. It was about being a mom and not jumping in the pool or getting off the beach while your kids are experiencing the moment because one thing holds you back: Getting into a swimsuit and going in the water with it on. Being exposed with a mom bod and not making the memories to the fullest with your kids by just sitting on the sidelines watching them play is a huge part of the article.
What I also take away from this article is two things that are really metaphorical not literal. One: doing things that make us uncomfortably vulnerable with other human beings holds us back. I am at an age where I am going beyond wearing a swim suit right now in the literal sense. But the metaphor is too big not to ponder. What is stopping me from going and doing the one thing with other people because I don’t want to share my venerability. Swim suit wearing is about as close to bearing it all out in the open as you can get publicly. It leaves you open to hearing the critics, the snarky meanies over top of your own voice saying “who said this was a good idea.” It is making the decision that you are not going just sit there and watch any more. You want to be part of it all. Nearly naked , just the way you are right now.
The next part is actually doing something. The action, the jumping in the pool and just doing it. I have to say that all the prep of shopping for the appropriate swim suit is just as an important part of the adventure as the ending splash in the pool. It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to find that swim suit that fits you perfectly. It cannot be an impulsive thing when you are looking for something that is not easily found off the rack. It may cost you more. In the end, it is totally worth all the prep. You have put in the research, the time and work to make yourself the most confident you, that you can be. Then the next part will be easier when putting the suit on and making your journey to the edge of the pool with all eyes seeing you, as you are. But with a great suit on. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, as you walk to edge of the water.
Now you have to decide. Will you just jump in fully immersing your self in the water or will this be a slower more gentle transition to the water? Having a plan helps but sometimes the water tells you what to do. There is an opening in the pool, or the ocean is presenting the best waves to jump into at the moment and you need to just do it.
I feel that way about my creative life. I have a plan on what my quilting will look like as a business now, as well in 5 years. I have big plans that will need to be worked every day: writing a book, publishing patterns and making a show quilt. I want to continue to long arm for other people, too. But I am not letting things hold me back. I am actively working on each step of the plan. I am putting the suit on and jumping in the deep end of the pool. It has been a time, over the past couple of years, that I have been sitting on the chairs of the pool patio cheering others on while I work and dream. But now is the time I need to experience it fully for myself.
So, are you gonna just go put on the swim suit and jump in the pool ? I am because I just don’t wanna sit and watch everyone else at the pool party fully immersing themselves because I am afraid of exposing myself to the world. White legs and jiggly middle and all.
Here is step one. I made a YouTube channel. I videoed my 51 year old, overweight self for all to see as it currently is. I decided that real life and everyday people are more interesting. Maybe others will think my daily adventures, quilting and travel are too.
Step two: Keep working on being a healthy me so I can keep doing what I want to do. Exercise, diet and sleep right. Follow Doctors orders and keep on keeping on.
Step three: PUT ON THE SUIT and JUMP IN. The slowly immersing myself has been what the last few years were about and not fully immersing myself in my creativity. I submitted a quilt to a show but didn’t make it this year. I convinced my quilting friends to submit a collaborative project that I long armed and helped piece. It DID make it ! I submitted a book proposal. I have been rejected before but I keep trying. I have another company to try if this one says no. I have lots of options for printing my patterns.
It is really that simple. Put in the work every day. Buy the suit, put it on already. Now, you are ready to jump in.
Here is my latest video from my adventure last weekend:
Hope to see you at the beach wearing your swimsuit and getting in to the water.