I want to talk to you about being okay. As I flipped through my most recent Secret Message Society Zine (the big #50!) I saw a new theme emerge. I love that these zines can take on so many meanings, depending on what you need at the time you crack the cover.
The new theme I was seeing is that of being okay.
Dear ImagineNation Citizens,
I sometimes feel very silly for how much reassurance I desire as an adult. It is one thing for a child to need to be reassured, but a grown-up? Hmmmmm. The reason that I feel silly is that there is a part of me that thinks reassurance should not be a daily requirement. But when I think of things that are daily requirements, things like breathing, moving, sleeping, drinking water and the intake of vitamins and minerals, they seem to just make sense. No questions asked. Of course I need these things.
My dog flips his bowls when he is hungry and thirsty, and sometimes the joke in our house is, "What? I suppose you think you need to eat again today?! I just fed you yesterday!"
It is beneficial to carry this humor over into my daily dose of reassurance:
"What? I suppose you think you need to be reassured again today?! I just reassured you yesterday!"
I could debate the logic all day of why theoretically my self-reliance should insure my self-confidence, which should insure my "I've got this attitude" without the need for a hand squeeze, a pat on the back or a verbal dose of praise in the form of a stiff drink called a secret message.
May I clear up some confusion? Self-reliance isn't about having your shit together. It's about operating from your truth. If the truth of my data is showing me that something I feel on a daily basis is anxiety, then being self-reliant means doing something out loud with that very real anxiety. It means taking action because if I'm feeling it, chances are other citizens in the ImagineNation are feeling it as well.
My anxiety comes in brain waves like questions:
- Am I safe to be me?
- Can I keep continuing in the way I am going?
- Can I believe I'm not going to blow it?
- If no one is on my side, can I keep being on my side?
- Can I follow my vision?
- Can I survive in the "Real World" even if I don't play by its rules?
- Can I stay vulnerable and soft and survive the blows?
- Can I not hold back?
- Can I enjoy myself?
When re-writing my About page at Messy Canvas, I added this paragraph:
If you ever get discouraged in the "Real World," need to visit a safe comforting place where you can rise above responsibility, accountability and reality (if only for a moment), need some inspiration, fantasy, fun or encouragement that you CAN make magic and own your own damn fairy tale, well then, my friends, the welcome mat is always out at planet Messy Canvas. I am holding space in the ImagineNation just for you.
I wrote this because I believe what I have to offer on the planet of Messy Canvas is the very thing I myself most need - a daily dose of reassurance. I didn't grow out of that necessity when I became an adult.
When I am operating as an undercover spy in the "Real World," I am actually looking for evidence that I can go on. This is where my secret message gathering comes from - me, making sure to get that daily requirement. When I am circumnavigating any number of planets in the ImagineNation, using my artistic tendencies to take what I find their and translate it into magic in the Real World - that magic offers me my daily dose of reassurance. When I am Following the White Rabbit, tracking my curiosity and finding evidence that the path I am choosing is the right one, this is me getting my daily allotment of reassurance.
No matter what creative persona I choose to pretend and make belief under - reporter, spy, artist, magician, detective, museum curator, mad scientist, explorer - the goal is the same, gimme that daily dose of reassurance. It never gets old because it always look different given the data I have to work with.
What you will find in my self-published Secret Message Society Zines is me, your on-the-ground, friendly reporter (ala Lois Lane of The Planet) finding evidence of the following because I for one need it, and I am determined to be on the lookout for it:
- solace (just to name a few synonyms of reassurance)
Four years of zines, and I haven't missed a month yet. I'm so relieved to tell you, there is always some secret message found to report. So if the news from the "Real World" grates on your soul, I'd be happy to show you an alternate reality.
For instance, in #50 you will find reassurance that:
- They (who make you feel small or crazy) may not exist.
- Porta potties are time machines.
- Conductors actually have magic wands.
- The air is crackling with your energy, and you can use it how you want.
- You can be stuck in traffic and find ways out.
- Bugs can be messengers telling you mistakes are okay.
- You can spray the unwanted people in your life with repellant.
- Yoga mats are time machines.
- Pathology reports are secret codes.
- Branches are glyphs.
- The word NO has a hidden door in it.
- You can believe in imaginary worlds.
Take heart I am overcoming the "Real World."
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