This week I’m running a road race with hopes of impressing my old college coach so that he’ll put me back on scholarship next fall when I return to college as I still have two years of eligibility left. I’ve been really excited and confident in myself until this weekend when my head began to fill with doubts.
Today I headed to the local bike path to do a workout, feeling sluggish and slow and down on myself for not training enough and probably getting slower. This kind of an attitude is particulary worrisome because running is approximately 10% physical and 90% mental.
As I was stretching my hamstrings after warming up, I looked down to a patch of clover in the grass and immediately spotted one with the elusive fourth leaf. I plucked the lucky specimen from the ground and gave a small smile. I felt a little pep in my step as I walked to a parking block to stretch my calves. Wouldn’t you know…an angelic orange and brown butterfly landed just to my left and rested peacefully for a good minute.
Normally, I think God talks so quietly that I could never hear him, but I got this message loud and clear. (I always was a visual learner!) It was like he was gently reminding me to believe in myself and be positive. Keep the faith!
God, thank you for this gift. Let me give all my glory to you.
Doesn’t everyone need a little more perspective in life? Or at least an improved perspective? Perhaps a wider perspective?
Perspective is essentially how a person views any particular situations or facts and subsequent importance in relation one another. Perspective implies a degree of objectivity. Most people have difficulty evaluating their circumstances without heavy weight on their personal emotions and bias.
Overall, keeping an eye on the bigger picture will bring more happiness and love to our lives. Perspective settles our emotions, guides our priorities, and frames our world view. Take control of your life and your attitude with a renewed outlook. You can shrink the negativity in your life and take away its power when you put it into perspective with the positive change and action available to you. Change your thinking; change your life!
I used 2-D perspective to create these floating boxes. Cody said this drawing was his favorite of all!
Wh am I? For one thing, I am a person who loves Spring Break! Horray-it’s finally here! I finished my art class and have a bunch of projects to share. I ended up earning an A in Drawing 101, but I have one picture that I don’t really like showing around: my self-portrait. I really think this assignment should have come later in the class after we had more skills because drawing a human face (especially your own!) is so tough! I don’t think this really looks like me because the eyes, nose, mouth, and teeth (and that’s pretty much everything!) look so weird!
Besides depicting our physical appearance, we were also supposed to share something about ourselves to say who we were inside. I was lost asking myself, “Who am I?” Ask yourself that one, like seriously ask it, and see how tricky it is. I was really stuck, and I couldn’t just pin it down to one descriptor. I was having trouble identifying myself and rightfully so when you remember that taking the class in itself was an experiment to test out whether I should quit my job and go back to school for a totally different career and whole new lifestyle. I was really in limbo. I was searching for myself again.
So again, “Who am I?” Well, I’m not very happy at the moment…stuck in a rut…not very satisfied. Wait a second, I have a lot going for myself. I’m a sister, daughter, wife, and friend. I’m a runner. I’m a teacher. I’m a planner, budgeter, organizer. I’m a writer, a dreamer, a believer. And more and more. So rather than limit myself to one label, I just started listing them all and all of their synonyms, and I wrote them all over the background of my paper.
I’m glad I figured out “who I am”…but I couldn’t figure out the proportions of my facial features. This one is part swan dive and part belly flop for sure!
2012 is passing by in a whirlwind for sure. Sometimes the world is spinning too fast for me, and I feel so overwhelmed. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself whispering under my breath, “If one more person asks me to do one more thing, I am going to flip out.”
Doing so much work in other areas of my life, I’ve practically abandoned my blog, but I had a big week so I had to squeeze in a few minutes to make an update.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, I quit my job.
Actually, I submitted my intent to resign effective at the end of my contract which is in about three months.
Taking this big step was conflicting. The relief that this stressful era of my life is about to end is a treasure. The excitement of a new saga beginning fills me with happiness. On the other hand, I feel this uneasiness that people might whisper behind my back misunderstanding my decision. I do feel that pinch of guilt of quitting a secure job while so many are unemployed.
However, I have to keep myself grounded with the knowledge that I am grateful for my opportunity in this profession because I learned a lot about myself and about life, and that making this big leap out of that profession is a necessary step toward having more satisfaction in my life.
So I’m a little Twitter Rookie, but I have to say that Twitter is entertaining me a lot better than Facebook these days. Seriously, Facebook is great for stalking your old classmates and watching feuds play out between your cousin and his ex-girlfriend, but Twitter is at a whole new level for networking and staying up on the latest news in world events or fun pop culture. Follow me on twitter @swandivebellyfl and I’ll follow you back! It’s fun! :)
My best find on Twitter today was Eric Thomas’s new video. I already dedicated one post to this hip hop preacher, but I find him so impressive, I’m going for post #2 already. His video series is called T.G.I.M. Yeah, Thank God It’s Monday. Now that is a novel thought, especially for this girl who hates a Monday morning alarm clock! On the other hand, if I’m all about chasing down dreams, I should be escatic for Monday to come. It’s another opportunity to achieve some new milestones on my journey.
He asks: Do you believe? Do you believe that one day you are not going to live in the world given to you, but in the world you dream of. He preaches: Everybody’s got sight-very few have vision. He warns: Dream big. Think big. Start Small.
I love this message, and I am especially glad it came on a Monday to energize me to focus on my dreams throughout this week. I definitely have faith in where I want to go, and I have to remember that the little plans and small accomplishments of today will lead to the big plans and huge accomplishments of tomorrow!
Just like a butterfly, I am growing and changing and finding my true colors in life. I am growing my wings, so I can fly and soon be on my way.” -Anonymous
“Like the butterfly, I have the strength and hope to believe. In time, I will emerge from my cocoon…transformed” -Kirsti A. Dyer
I chose this picture as a challenge for myself since it is very detailed...kind of ambitious for me!
This sketch was very complicated, but following the gridlines helped me keep the picture in perfect proportion.
I used the lightbox again to transfer my sketch from the newsprint to the good drawing paper.
Progress check! The shading was kind of messy to start out with, so I had to be really careful to clean up all the lines.
The final product - some parts are still a little rough, but I worked up to the last minute before the due date!
“If you want to fly, you have to flap your own wings!” -Claire Williams
Hard work in combination with late nights and early alarms can really wear on a person. Then, without warning, a little accomplishment can make up for all the sacrifices. For me, completing my first assignment for my new art class has really provided some motivation to keep up all the extra effort. I worked forever on this little project, but the accomplishment I felt afterwards compensated for all the time I spent on this challenge. Take a look (click on pics to make them bigger):
I found this pretty photo on the internet and printed it in grayscale.
My first step was to draw gridlines straight on the picture.
I sketched the outline of the flower on newsprint using a larger grid to maintain the proportions.
This light box is magical! Reproducing my sketch onto good drawing paper was so simple.
Now I am ready for the messy part–shading with charcoal!
Final Result! I love how the white flower pops off the black background.
When I started this lily charcoal drawing, I couldn’t be sure that it would turn out. But, I believed that if I took the time and worked hard on it, I could achieve my goal. I smile everytime I see my drawing because I believed in myself and took a chance. Here’s to allowing ourselves to believe in our dreams and forcing ourselves to put in the work it takes to achieve them!
So I got my first follower on Twitter! It’s my mom… Lol. My mom was the one who has been telling me forever that I should start a blog. She also told me when I was in high school that I should look into graphic design, but I was dead set on being a teacher. I am a teacher now and guess what I’m doing? Looking into graphic design. Just one more example of how moms are practically always right.
Speaking of great moms…I just finished reading Kris Jenner’s memoir and found her tale to be quite fascinating. Yes, I’m aware of those who would disagree with my thinking that she is a great mom, but no one can deny that she and her brood of Kardashians are wildly successful at what they do, no doubt due to the matriarch’s high level of dedication and work ethic to her family and their brand.
Kris Jenner grew up working in her grandmother’s candle store and now manages the multi-million dollar careers of her six children and husband, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner. Really, how does this happen? Well, she shares a few of her success secrets in her book Kris Jenner…And All Things Kardashian:
- Kris Jenner Success Secret #1 “If someone tells you no, you are talking to the wrong person”
- Kris Jenner Success Secret #2 “Find out what you love and figure out who will pay you for it”
- Kris Jenner Success Secret #3 “I realized that if I was going to tackle this whole situation…I had to commit emotionally, physically, and intellectually 150 percent.”
As unlikely as it may seem, I find this family who some say is just famous for being famous very inspirational. They never give up. They do what they love. They work very, very hard. (And do it all while appearing effortlessly beautiful, charismatic, and confident!)
Reading this book gave me a little more belief in my dreams and added a little more fuel to my tank for the long journey toward achieving them. Respect and love for all the Kardashians <3 Amber
P.S. Be cool like my mom…You can follow me on Twitter too! @SwanDiveBellyFl Tweet me what you think about the Kardashians and which celebrities you find inspirational!
Kris Jenner...And All Things Kardashian