“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
I came across an article entitled “Living Life in Full Color” which touches on the point that as children we’re “free spirits” not concerned with what others think about us. But, as we age, we’re more concerned with this and slowly conform to what is “acceptable” and by the time we’re adults, “we are barely aware of our lives stuck in gray scale.”
The article further suggested that just like during the Fall, when Mother Nature lets her “Full Color” shine, we too should follow her example and live our lives more boldly before it’s too late. Encouraging us to follow our bliss.
Personally, I don’t feel like my life has ever been stuck in gray scale because of “conforming.”
BUT, I most certainly get what they mean by the concept of being stuck in gray scale. For me it’s more because there have been plenty of times when my life was so busy I felt like I was in robot mode which I surely would consider gray scale. Always on the go, never taking time to just be, let my true colors shine or follow my bliss. Basically living life doing what needs/needed to get done, and ignoring any urge to be playful or creative because in all honesty there is/was no time.
As a creative person, getting stuck in one of those phases most definitely would throw my mojo off and could put me in a bit of a funk. But, I’m always aware of this and when this happens, try hard to do a little something to shake the “gray scale” off.
AND, since unearthing the CHALK Charmer during COVID shutdown, make sure I’m doing something creative every weekend, which refuels my soul for the week. I can go into robot mode, but not feel the “gray scale” because I let my “full color” shine over the weekend and a little of that rainbow lingers throughout the week.
As a matter of fact, because my creative wheels are spinning in the background during the week, plotting my next creation, I may not be living in full color, more like a tint of color or pastel, but it’s still there, even if just for me to know. To say I feel more alive since pursuing this creative outlet is an understatement. I still have days that I feel like I’m just dragging myself through, but I know the weekend will come, and my color will shine once again, which is my saving grace on those type of days.
As I pondered the article and the idea of “living in full color,” my mind meandered to the concept of “living authentically.” Wouldn’t that be the same thing?
OR, is living authentically taking “Living Life in Full Color” to another level?
OR, vise versa?
When I looked up living authentically, one definition was:
“Put simply, authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise. You’re honest with yourself and with others, and you take responsibility for your mistakes. Your values, ideals, and actions align.”
Based on this, I would say “Living Life in Full Color” is taking authenticity to the next level. In order to be authentic you need to know who you really are, but “living life in full color” is about exploring a little deeper into what really makes you tick. About stepping out of your safe zone just to see what else might be hiding within.
AND, one of the key factors in doing so means letting go of being concerned with what others may think of you which let’s be honest isn’t that easy. BUT, I have found the older I get, the less I worry about this.
Not that I don’t still have my moments, but in general I try to let “my true full color” shine. To be true to what makes my heart and soul shine. Which in all honesty was kind of the entire point of starting this blog when my Son left for college. To rediscover “myself” when my Son left for college.
After years of single parenting, parts of me definitely started to fade. But as I noted earlier, I was so busy I didn’t have time to give it a second thought. Once the house was empty though, and it was just me and my thoughts, those faded parts began to resurface. And once they did, I started to feel more like “me.” Not that I wasn’t “me” I just wasn’t fully shining.
It wasn’t like there was a flip of the switch and the “full shine” was back though. It definitely took work, exploring in particular the creative side of me that hadn’t been truly tapped into for years. Previously I did enough to get by.
Once I completely tapped into that side, I could feel my “full color” was working it’s way back.
AND, four years later I can honestly say I feel I am doing pretty good at “living life in full color” and loving it. Being true to me, AKA “being authentic”
Do I still have days when I feel a little gray scale? For sure, life can sometimes just plain tap me out. At those times though, I know I need to retreat, regroup and recharge my “colors.”
SO, as I get ready to sign off on my final post for “Waking the Woman” it really does feel like I’ve come full circle.
When I started this blog in 2019, I honestly had no idea where the journey of self re-discovery would take me. I just knew it was a journey I needed to take. Had COVID not hit, and the CHALK Charmer not been unearthed, I may not be where I’m at now, but taking the first step was really the toughest part. Being willing to look inside and be honest with myself about who I am, and what makes me tick was the catalyst that brought me to this point.
BUT, I believe this journey is never fully over though. In order to truly live life authentically in full color, there’s always more layers to peel away and explore as long as you’re willing to. Where I go from here is kind of the beginning of another journey. Especially the closer I get to retirement which will be an entirely different phase from this one, but one I very much long to experience.
So until then, I may have the occasional post, but for now, I am officially signing off from my monthly posts on “Waking the Woman.” Thank you so much to everyone who supported me on this journey, and read not just this blog regularly, but also my “Waking the Walker” blog which preceded this one.
Writing has always been very therapeutic for me, so I won’t completely give it up. I’m just not going to pressure myself to create a new post monthly when my heart and soul want to dedicate my time to my chalk art and where it will lead. I believe there is great prospect here with many avenues to explore.
Thanks again for all your support. It’s been a wonderful journey with you by my side.
Now go let your “full colors” shine too!
© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Woman, 2023. All rights reserved.
Goddess Masthead © Pamela Danko-Stout and Waking the Woman, 2023. All rights reserved.
Clip Art – © 123rf