Odd Girl Out

Note: It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve last written. Life has been crazy. It’s been awesome and not, as life tends to be. When I took a peek in the draft folder, I came across this post. Part 1 is that post. Part 2 was written after.


Part 1: Draft dated 6/13/16

So, I have this book that’s been super hard for me to read. It’s called Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls and it stirs up a whole lotta something in me. I mean I guess it’s good as it brings awareness to how girls and women treat each other, but frankly, it pisses me off. It’s the proverbial light going off, “AH! See? I knew it!” That’s what it’s like for me.

It’s my suspicions being confirmed.

While I know some are quite gifted in passive-aggressiveness and just plain meanness played off as “what do you mean? I didn’t say that.” (If you excuse my language, it’s what I call a mindf*ck. Because there’s just no other way to explain it.) I do believe, in some few cases, the manipulation and game playing is built into their DNA and they have no clue. Then again, I suppose you could be brought up or trained this way…

I find that sometimes I’m anticipating malicious girl behavior when there isn’t any. Then after I beat myself up about thinking that way. This is what it’s like to be programmed to think and feel a certain way. After our move, I have so much clarity about this because we have no ties here. No history to draw from. Sure, it still happens but it doesn’t cut as deep.


Part 2: Last night.

Fast forward a few years and here I sit very involved in the community in one form or another. And I’m not sure I like it. I have things to offer and I’m willing to do the things others won’t, but it amazes me how one act can be misinterpreted and snowballed. Real friends ask questions. You know, talk it out. Fake friends belittle you behind your back and feed the fire. Then it spreads. (Ever have a good relationship with someone and then suddenly it becomes awkward? It doesn’t take long to figure out there’s been some mudslinging going on and now their perception of you has changed based on someone else’s misinterpreted story. Fuel, fuel, fuel.)

They say history repeats itself and the signs were there all along. I chose to ignore them because they felt like “my people.” I have learned that is so not the case. When you’re new to an area, there are lots of differences – mannerisms, how people behave, even “tag sale” vs. “yard sale” it’s all different. So you make allowances. What seems rude at first glance might not be in “their language,” so you choose to ignore it. Then time proves those gut reactions were right.

Truth? It is disappointing. Truth? Turns out, I don’t want to be surrounded with people like that anyway. Truth? I have things to offer, but it is not the best use of my time dealing with drama and with people like this. If I am giving up time with my family, my real friends and my business, I am not half-assing it. I am all-in and doing what I can to make whatever it is better than it was before. I make the investment and throw myself into the task at hand. At what point is it just not worth it?

Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting!

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my husband and I are taking the plunge. We are opening a screen print and graphic design shop here in Orange, MA. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey together!

Side note: The question I get most is “Will you still paint?” Yes. Yes, I absolutely will.  Bring on the commissions. 🙂 

Support Orange Graphix

As we transition into this new phase, we are faced with lots of challenges that come up with opening a new business. And a good chunk of that is financial. Crowdfunding doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, but I have decided to hold a “Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting” sale. This is a great way to support a local business AND get some cool art created during the 100 Paintings in 100 Days project. (FYI: That project will be hard to top. It was so intense! But I may try another soon…)

Day 96

Paintings, like the one above, are ready and waiting. Pick one price or two, it’s totally up to you. No matter what you choose, you have my deepest gratitude. By buying yourself (or someone you love!) a painting, you’ll not only get some art and you’ll be part of this bigger project that’s happening right now.

Search “100 Paintings” in the shop section to pick your favorites and support a local business. 

With love and so much gratitude,
Amber

PS: If custom apparel or graphic design appeals to you, your business or club/sport/facility,

Living the Dream: Featuring Megan Gray

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Our Featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here.  (More coming soon!)


5b9eee23-4192-4524-bc24-0a517d477aa6Megan Gray Arts

I’m Megan Gray, and along with being an artist, I am a mother of three, and major supporter of Creative Mothers everywhere.

I help make collecting original art easy, and to inspire other mothers to be creative. My oil and watercolor paintings are inspired by our simple life and the natural landscape around us. I want my art to be available to everyone, no matter their budget. To me art is connection. Art is community, and how I engage with the world around me. That’s why any art you purchase directly from me is priced “pay what you want.”

I believe my work isn’t finished until it finds a home. A home where it is loved and valued dearly. I want my art to make you feel like I feel when you ask to buy it, happy. I trust in my collectors, and in return they keep me making art!

Like, Follow, Instagram, + Find Megan Gray!

 

d3dea401-15c2-4352-9f0c-929970197e24Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Honestly, I just want to paint. I went for it because it allows me to be my own boss, as well as there for my kids. I need to paint or else I get very unhappy. It’s the only time where my mind is completely calm and focused. So, if don’t paint for a while I feel out of balance.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Finding the time to paint. I’m always letting things get in the way. Cleaning, errands, etc. sometimes you have to let other things go so you can create. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go, and sometimes I let those things become excuses as to why I’m not painting.

de13fb17-b6e3-4b09-904c-fd9bc9efc7d2What do you love to do the most?

I love to paint landscapes in oil.

Who supports you in following your dream?

My husband and my children as well as my extended family too. My husband is my biggest supporter and being a creative example for my kids is my greatest motivation. My kids also let me know what they like and don’t like when I paint, so they actually help me to grow in that way as an artist.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who is making time to create especially if they have kids.

Where do you see yourself in five years?19279767-5209-4fc1-87a1-221b85f0743a

Not changing anymore diapers, and painting more regularly instead of whenever I can.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

Just do it. Stop making excuses. You are by far your biggest obstacle, so knock it off and be your biggest supporter!

 

 

 


 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!