You may remember my first Friday Failures post and that I shared a failed cupcake recipe with you. It’s meant to show you that not everything I do turns out great and to just laugh and embrace the mistakes. However this Friday Failures post is going to be far less comical and probably one of my most personal and raw posts to date. There’s still photos and a project that I worked on that was a bit of a failure, but the process of how I got there is a vital piece to the story and explains why Tattooed Martha has been a dormant blog for the past few months.
As I said, things have been quiet on here and it’s because things in my life have been anything but quiet. There have been some good days peppered in there too and I suppose I could have only written about those things, but that didn’t really feel authentic to me. You can’t just chop up bits of your life and only share what you think people will actually want to see and hear. Sadly, when you’re experiencing hurt and emotional vulnerability, people tend to turn away. They don’t want to hear about this painful time, they only want to hear how you overcame it and how you’re this wonderfully evolved and happy human being now. For fear of turning the blog into this sad little diary of my hurt, heartache, and struggles, I chose silence and kept telling myself I would write when things were settled down. Well, at this rate that means I may never blog again because things are still pretty.. for lack of a more accurate or intelligent phrase.. fucked up in my life.
I was really unhappy with my job so I made the jump to a new one that paid better and offered more consistency. What I didn’t factor in is the 2+ hours a day that I spend commuting and that it’s a little monotonous, which has been eating up a lot of time and energy that I would rather spend creating and writing. Add in some transportation hiccups like no parking or really expensive parking, horrible traffic, delayed trains, and most recently being pulled off the train twice in a week by officers and getting ticketed $350 for train ticket issues. Losing over half of one of my paychecks just to get to work doesn’t make the “daily grind” any easier and makes me feel like whatever I do to change my situation for the better, goes horribly opposite.
To add a bit more to my plate, I’ve had a fairly tumultuous personal life recently. I will only say that the past several months have been heart breaking, eye opening, and stressful beyond belief. I’m scared and constantly feel like I’m being torn into a million different pieces. I feel like I’m either on the brink of something really great or on the brink of losing my mind. Quite the terrifying fence to be straddling. You’ll have to forgive me for “Vague-Booking” as I call everyone’s emotionally distraught and ambiguous Facebook posts, but as much as I believe in honest writing and being forth coming about things, there are a few areas of my life that need to remain off the worldwide web. I just ask that people respect my need to hang onto a small shred of privacy.
Now onto my messy failure.. which ironically makes a cute little nickname for my life lately.
Last month I had finished the book, Rising Strong, and was inspired to create a little art quote project from it. I first want to say the author, Brené Brown, is phenomenal and I highly recommend the book or checking out her Ted Talks. It felt like she was speaking to my soul and it really helped me change the way I view and communicate my feelings. One particular section that stuck out was chapter two. Brené puts a quote page at the beginning of each section and this particular one read, “The middle is messy, but it’s also where the magic happens.”
It’s about that moment when you’ve just gotten knocked down to the ground and everything is a mess. You can either lay there and let life bury you further or you have the choice to be vulnerable, admit your failure, then get up and move forward with more strength and wisdom than before. This is the tougher of routes to take, but there’s a really beautiful transformation that happens within us when we choose it. The “magic” if you will.
I found it pretty ironic that the quote I chose really set the stage for what unfolded with the project. Much like my big life plans, I had a pretty solid picture in my mind of how I wanted this project to look and set out with the best intentions. I ran into a few tiny things that I had to make adjustments with, but everything seemed on track. I’m sure you can guess that it didn’t go so smoothly after that though.
Here’s a few shots of the various stages this particular canvas has gone through.. if it looks familiar it’s because the ‘FALL’ canvas was once a craft tutorial on the blog.
I added all of this paint to create a cool dripping effect, but then realized the paint was way too thick and I could barely find the letters underneath it all to peel off. I started to get some pulled off, but with the background I painted and all this paint dripping down, it was an unreadable mess. I decided to regress back to my pre-school days and threw my hands into the dripping paint and just started mixing. I realized I would have to go back to the drawing board and start this project all over again, which was a huge disappointment, but I thought I could just create this cool swirly backdrop to build on top of.
As I continued to push the paint around and peel off the letters, it started to reveal the words from the quote and actually look pretty neat. I grabbed some paper towels, water, and a knife and continued to wipe and scrape the paint away until I was satisfied with it. It ended up turning out nothing like what I expected and yet I loved it far more than what I originally pictured. It’s funky, rustic, and was a complete failure-turned-success.
I actually started to tear up about it because it was such a cathartic experience. It had gone through several layers of transformation before it evolved into exactly what it was supposed to be. That’s also where I’m at in my life. I’ve already gone through many layers of change and now I’m buried in this messy stage yet again and trying to emerge. I had a solid picture of where things were heading, but it’s perhaps a different path and different final product than what I initially imagined. It’s in my nature to fight back when things start to change or go wrong, so I’m learning to adapt with it and remain confident in the fact that I will get to where I need to be.
So there you go.. it’s all out there now for the most part. When things start getting a little rough in life it’s tough to expose yourself in this way, especially in a world that can turn on you, judge you, and just flat out tear you apart with a few words and a click of button. I sincerely thank those of you that have hung in there with me and offered up kind words, support, and genuine love.
Now it’s time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and start kicking life’s proverbial ass!
Welcome back to blog everybody 🙂