life

advice in torrents.

i love advice. especially when it comes from people i love and/or admire. the best pieces of advice i’ve gotten from the past few days have all helped me to help myself be more centered. i’m trying, anyway. 😉  a sampling:

my mom, when i was nervous about today’s assignment of drawing a pine cone: don’t be nervous. just draw what you see. you’ll be fine. (it sounds so simple on paper, but sometimes you have to hear things like this…) p.s. i might not have been so nervous about this exercise if my drawing instructor hadn’t been hyping us up for it since drawing 1.

my aunt sharon when i wasn’t feeling well this morning due to nerves about the drawing assignment: it’s your perfectionist gene kicking the insides of your tummy. don’t worry about drawing–just do what you do there–and save your creative energies for the areas you naturally do well. like writing.

my aunt dede, after i posted a facebook status last week that was admittedly self-pitying:  did you have any guests at that pity party? don’t think of it as a setback. think of it as an opportunity to regroup, refocus, and aim higher!

my aunt pat, after that same facebook post:  ditto for me. besides, you’re a clemmons, and clemmonses don’t give up!

one of my best friends, chelsea: failure is a perfect opportunity to grow. don’t be critical of yourself, be critical of your work. (this is a hard distinction for me to make right now, but one i need to learn quickly if i expect to succeed at majoring in art!)

my friend mary, when i was upset about a meanie guy bashing my discussion post in my online history class: some people are too hard-headed to realize that everyone has different opinions and views. he’s just one of those people that, no matter how much you tell him people are different, will never see it. you can’t argue with stupidity.

my friend tamara, on the same subject: real adults may not agree with you at all times, but they are competent enough to value others’ opinions.

my uncle’s advice on the same situation cheered me up by making me laugh: you need to let them know that you have an uncle that can hurt them!

kid that sits across from me in drawing class: just don’t worry about it. (said with a big smile. of course, this is much easier said than done, but like i said, i’m trying!)

and lastly, but certainly not least, my drawing instructor’s advice this morning when nobody seemed to be very responsive:  the weekend doesn’t matter. leave the weekend behind you. it’s in your past, and nothing you did this weekend matters anymore. this was particularly eye-opening, because i had quite an emotional weekend, and i was feeling exhausted this morning. him saying that really helped me put things in perspective. 🙂

maybe one of these bits of advice will help you as you go about your week. i hope so!

late bloomer.

i get a lot of questions as to the significance of the ring i wear on the middle finger of my right hand. well, firstly, i got it from kyle anne metals at etsy.com. it was custom made for me, and only cost $18, but it’s one of my favorite possessions. here’s a picture:

one of the reasons this Blooming Birch Ring in Pink caught my eye was the seller’s description:  “This ring reminds me of a birch branch in springtime, getting ready to blossom.”

i think of myself as a late bloomer. at the ripe young age of 29, i feel that i have finally begun to come into my own. i’ve spent a great deal of my life (in fact, my entire 20s!) being introspective and trying to figure out exactly who i am and what it is i want to do with my life. i’ve met many wonderful people, whom i admire greatly. hard laborers; talented musicians; amazing teachers; lovely & patient mothers; determined career-minded people; awe-inspiring people from what my dad calls the “school of hard knocks”… all of these friends, acquaintances, family members, even a few that i’ve met only once, have provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the world around me, which has allowed me to look within myself and learn.

i’ve spent so much time wanting to be certain things: the perfect wife/daughter/sister/niece/grandchild/cousin/aunt/dog owner/what have you, a straight-A student, a musician and artist, a well-educated know-it-all, physically fit, beautiful on the inside and out, talented writer, great cook, well-spoken, well-read, very ethical and work-minded… you name it.

it’s taken me more time than some, and a lot less time than others to realize that i can be anything i put my mind to, but that the things that matter most are within me. it’s always been a struggle for me to keep my self-esteem from the gutter, but the older i get, the easier it is to say the following:

i am…

kind, loyal, honest, studious, sort of pretty, very loved, funny, talented musically and artistically, observant, reasonable, a loving wife/daughter/sister/niece/aunt/etc, a good cook/baker, well-read, an observer, a thinker, lucky enough to have a large and amazing family…

there are many other things that i am, and many more that i still strive to be. i’m constantly seeking ways to better myself, and chastising myself for being judgmental or bitter on those occasions on which we all are apt to behave this way.

but for now, i am happy with me.

this ring that i wear is a daily reminder of that. the little about-t0-blossom bud on a tiny branch. i know that the older i get, the more experience i have, the more i will blossom and grow.

and that is one of the most beautiful things about life.  🙂

download this:  “i & love & you” by the avett brothers