Living Boldly, Part Two
Najah, Ancestress of Success, Ancestress Series shadow boxes Wooden box, acrylic paint, rubber stamped designs, polymer clay mask, glass bead embellishments. 8"w x 10"h $250The results are in, and my son did not win his election to become 9th grade class vice president. He was disappointed, upset and angry, not unexpectedly; he'd thought he was going to win. He didn't want to be consoled at first; he had to work through his anger. When he did, we talked about how courageous it was for him to try, how he should be proud of the effort he put in to the tasks, and how, in the final analysis, the result was not within his control.
What's the lesson here? The attempt is sometimes just as important as the result.
In my work, there are times when I attempt things which don't work. The time spent in the attempt is valuable; I often learn things I wouldn't have if I hadn't tried. The "failure" is part of the experience, and many times, it leads to exploration of a new direction. The freedom to experiment and play is an integral part of the artistic process.
My son has learned he can dare to assert himself in new situations; he can be persuasive with people he doesn't know; and he can bounce back from disappointment as a stronger person. He's now ready to explore other opportunities open to him (clubs, sports, etc.). Would it have been better for him to have won? Perhaps. But, I believe that often when you don't get what you want, it means something even better is just around the corner.
Living boldly means to dare to dream, to experiment, take chances and pick yourself up when you fail, to do it all over again.