There are lots of things we say to each other everyday, isn't that great? Communicating, sharing, bffs gossip, twelve-at-nigh-discussions, lovers' fiery arguments - all wonderful! One thing worries me though... that is when people say things without thinking. I forgive all the teenagers (and people in their early twenties too!) - you
are totally allowed to practice your honesty. I forgive it in those fiery arguments - just add an "oops!" at the end of your sentence and you are excused. What I don't accept though is grown-ups who throw their words calmly without much thinking, without considering that world in fact isn't black and white and that everyone is actually different. (If that sentence shocked you, then you must most definitely carry on reading, you are about to discover someone else's point of view! Yay!)
So I am starting this series of posts based on my own experience of things that have been said to me. This is for those who say them - to maybe give them some food for thought and for other creatives - to relate and realise you are not alone. Let's start with...
Weird thing that at least 7 people said to me: You must have been really bored at home to do this!
My reaction: depending on my age - from a little cry in a toilet to a nervous laugh or an uncomfortable cringe.
First time I heard it was when I was 10. My Mum got me a purple glittery nail polish to cheer me up during hell time at home. Worked a treat! I painted my nails in a fancy pattern and I was ever so pleased with myself. In my eyes it was a fun thing to do, the pattern was magnificent (in my eyes you remember!) and I felt like the coolest kid ever born. Next day I play with my dolls on the terrace. A builder (my Mum was building an extension) is sitting nearby on a chair drinking his coffee. "Look at those nails, wow!"he says. You imagine my smile? And then he adds: "You must have been really bored to do it!".
Then there was a number of times when I heard it again. And I am talking about my adult life and grown up people saying it. It was always when I exceeded myself, when I've done more than was needed of me, when I've done something using my creativity and actually enjoyed it.
When I started scrapbooking it turned out that the bored sentence is back in fashion. Bang on trend actually and I am about to hear more of it. Lucky me! For instance my colleague at the pharmacy where I worked, when she saw one of my Prima embellished notebooks... "You must have been really bored at home to do this". Then she added "But it's wonderful, really pretty, you know!". Sorry Ania, you were great but you did say quite a few uncomfortable things that made the silence between us thicker than a dagwood sandwich wrapped in a feather blanket.
So what is it that makes people think that you must be really bored at home to start doing something out of nothing? Is it that you don't make any money on it? Is it that when it's done purely for fun then it's worthless? Or is it their own fear of living a life that consists of at least a tiny pinch of creativity?
And I don't want to hear "But some people aren't creative, they don't understand blah blah blah". Just so you know, everyone is creative to some extent, it's just that this creativity is not being used for various reasons end of topic!
Never ever in your life, promise me I beg you, never under any circumstances say that to a kid. It can make them stop from doing something they enjoy, because this thing is not fun anymore, this thing is embarrassing. Even if you try to make it sound fun, like a joke, the truth is all you are doing is just spreading pure crap, nothing else.
If you ever said that to anyone then maybe consider that there are ways you too can have fun in your life. Seriously, some pointless and guilt-free fun. Yes, this unicorn exists and it can be yours. Maybe it's hidden in a photo camera, or a pencil, or making up stupid jokes and writing them down? Everything creative is allowed and good. Go for it!
If you ever heard that from anyone, then I'm really really sorry - here's your big hug and a sweet kiss on your cheek from me. The fact that you heard it from someone means only one thing - you are doing something right. You are enjoying your life, you found a way to express your creativity - it's not embarrassing, it's something to be proud of. Smile your cutest smile at that person, show them your white pearls and carry on doing what you're doing. You are good, brilliant, magnificent, clever, brave, gorgeous and I love you. Now a lorry load of glitter falls on you, David Bowie starts to sing, you dance naked while sipping on your champagne. The fireworks go off somewhere in the world.
I wish I could say it to my 10-year old self, but unfortunately I was there on my own. In that scorching heat of July I sat silently waiting for him to go back to work. I put my dolls away and washed off my nail polish. As a kid and later as a teenager I never wanted to be considered a person who has nothing to do (like no friends to play with? Ouch!). Next time I painted my nails I made sure it's plain and smooth and nude.
ps. that is why tomorrow I'm getting my nails done in gold stupid glitter, let them blind people!