I recently received a very gracious invitation to a Private Kaari Meng Event hosted by Shea Fragoso and Deb Murray at The Church in Dallas. Jemellia and I attended and were simply elated, dizzy even.
There was laughter, tears, tools and a little bit of embarrassment on my part.
I sign up for these events, workshops and art classes for 3 reasons. First is to create and learn new skills. Creating is life-giving for me and I mean that in the dramatic way it sounds. Creating centers me and makes me return to that divine, child-like self who makes something then runs through the house saying "Mama, look, looky what I made."
Second is I want to interact with like-minded women. I have always loved the company of women. I enjoy men and their productive simplicity, but I yearn to fly my pink patchwork girl flag. And my classmates get it. I can be my true self. A little obnoxious, a little off-color, emotional and comedic. Also love a kit, a challenge and the task at hand.
Thirdly, it forces me out of my insular world so I am challenged, forced into a group setting, a new physical place, all innately uncomfortable for me. I'm not comfortable walking into a room I have not seen and a group of people I do not know. It is interesting that I have been a college adjunct professor for over 20 years where I am constantly walking into a room of strangers and performing. That is also my best talent. By the end of each semester, I think my students have been introduced to some biological information and understanding on a deeper level. In turn, I am filled by getting to know them and what they remind me about myself. But, I shake and quake before absolutely every lecture, every event and every class of every kind I walk into. The fear is instructive. So I keep doing it. However, I always recriminate and lash myself for what my mouth said.
Uncomfortable therefore instructive.
I am feeling weird and gross after this Kaari Meng Gilded Life event. I have been joking about my love for Kaari for a while. I have gone so far as to say I would just hump that sweet lady's leg because I love her so much. Oh that's all funny until I stammer, stutter and act all goofy-star-struck around her. Yuck on me. What the hell? I mean we are peers in age, why am I such a dip shit? I just was not myself in my own skin in her company. I wanted her to like me so much that I was probably unlikeable. I have two more events to attend where I've signed on for 3 more classes with her. I feel embarrased. I mean, I know it doesn't cross her radar screen because she meets so many people. Oh and by the way, one reason I admire her so much, other than love and respect for her artistry, is the fact that she really tries to connect with each person she speaks to. And hungry 'ol me was making the least out of that.
The above is an amalgam I made of charms given to each student. Initial charm by Shea and Debbie, a flower charm from Heather Ales and a couple of dangles from Kaari's kit.
Confronting fear is the real reason I need to keep doing things like this workshop. To meet new people, see new things, learns new skills, create and ultimately grow. Shit.