Have you ever wanted to paint or create or draw or write…
…and someone told you that you shouldn’t?
Someone told you that you weren’t good enough.
Or talented enough.
Or creative enough.
Or capable enough.
Someone who may or may not have known anything about anything told you to hide your light under a bushel and start again and rethink what you were thinking and go back to the drawing board.
Then this story is for you.
See the stool right there on the left? It was my grandmother’s.
She lived her life during a time when pearls and cocktails and poodle skirts and supper dances were a thing.
Her hair was cut in a perfect bob and she teased up and wore cat eye glasses and looked like a movie star. She had a smile that lit up a room and a laugh that made you giggle and she was funny and witty and beautiful and knew how to rock a pair of capri pants and a set of rhinestone earrings.
She lived her life in panoramic color with extra sparkles…
…and she loved red lipstick.
But underneath the red lipstick and country club dinners and tea parties and supper clubs—underneath all the glitz and the glamor way down deep in her soul…
…she was an artist.
A while back, I discovered a stack of canvases tucked away in the very back corner of the attic at our beach house.
A little forlorn.
A little forgotten.
A little tattered and torn.
There were beautiful, incredible, amazing pieces she painted of the dunes and the sunsets and the jetties and the ocean at the Cape.
I didn’t truly understand that she was an artist until I discovered those canvases in the attic, but once I saw them I met a part of my grandmother I never knew. It was as if those paintings were a glimpse into her soul.
Those were canvases she painted for herself.
Canvases that were painted softly and without fanfare.
You could almost hear the whisper in every brushstroke.
You see–she never really talked about her art.
I don’t know why.
Maybe someone told her she wasn’t a good painter. Maybe someone told her that her sand wasn’t grainy enough or her ocean wasn’t blue enough or that she didn’t use the right technique or she needed to paint the sky in vivid hues instead of soft, gentle breezes.
Maybe someone told her she wasn’t enough.
But she was.
And she didn’t listen. She painted anyway. She sat on this stool and painted because she couldn’t help it. She had to create because she had art and painting and creative inspiration running through every vein.
This was her painting stool.
Every drip. Every drop. Every scratch and dent and rough edge and splatter were hers.
Every dream. Every brushstroke. Every line.
It was her legacy.
There’s such a life lesson in those long ago drips on this rough and splattered stool.
And the lesson is this…
When life tells you that you can’t.
When life tells you that you are not enough.
When life tells you to hide your light under a bushel and put the paint brushes away.
Paint your heart anyway.
PS You got today rock star. Truly.