Updated: Aug 11
If you follow us on Instagram, you may have recently seen our Penny and Marsha reels. It is supposed to impersonate the NPR skit from Saturday Night Live. The most well-known being "schweddy balls" with guest host Alex Baldwin.
I have had difficulty looking in the mirror for the past few years. I have gained weight over Covid, and personal losses have chipped away at my confidence, which was already low. It's been easier to avoid my reflection altogether, so when I saw the first recording of our Penny & Marsha video, it was hard to watch myself, and I posted it anyway.
Lizzie and I have been talking about the skit for a while. And then, on a completely different note, we often talk about wanting to feel joy again. After the past two + years, I think this is a feeling that resonates with many of us,. One day when the conversation was about the former, we decided to push the record button and risk looking ridiculous.
Something felt good enough about the video for me that I did something different. I sat and watched myself. I heard the many voices that ran through my head telling me all sorts of reasons I should feel embarrassed, and then there was a shift. My focus on all of that faded, and I began to kind of love this me talking into the camera and barely holding it together without laughing.
My first memory of wanting to make people laugh was in the first grade after my father died. When I picked up dessert after lunch in the cafeteria, I rubbed my ice cream all over my face, and that began a lifelong quest to be funny, but it was more of a mask than how I felt about myself. Underneath, I felt weird and different; funny was just somewhere else for people to look.
The most healing in my life has come in the moments when I awkwardly show my true self. I wrote after my husband died and posted my blog on social media (as I write, I realize I am doing that again). It's my goofy personality on an Instagram Reel, or being with the people in my life where no mask is required because it's safe. It's finding out that much of what I labeled wrong about myself, was really just creativity that I could not see.
I am sure this good feeling will come and go, and thanks to Brené Brown, I know the shame that comes with vulnerability will also ebb and flow. It's the up and down of life. The peaks and valleys, the despair that can keep us stuck, and the joy that often shows when we see something new like a new puppy, a newborn baby, or a new part of ourselves waiting in the wings.
We can become a little more ourselves each and every day when we can sit through the discomfort of self-doubt long enough to find something in ourselves we love., and creativity can be the wheels that keep us moving in the right direction. Thank you for following our heart to Art Beat and supporting us along the way!