Radvent 2012 1: Knowledge

“In general I think it’s a mistake to be really, really sure about anything
because the only thing you can know for sure is that things change.
However, just because things change
doesn’t mean you can’t live according to a set of beliefs.
Even without knowing things for sure,
holding on to our own truth is enough
to bring clarity to navigate a world full of change.”
~ Princess Lasertron

Princess Lasertron is doing her annual Radvent, and I will participate as much as I can. Today’s post is about Knowledge.

What do you know? And what don’t you know?

What Princess Lasertron knows is:

  1. Having an opinion is not optional.
  2. To get to know someone ask, “Tell me what you’re excited about right now.”
  3. You’re never anonymous.
  4. Being afraid to do something wrong has a lot to do with being afraid to learn.
  5. Don’t have heroes you’ve never met.

What I know about her points is:

1. I have an opinion, but I don’t force it on others, probably because opinions were forced on me so much in my youth. But I do gravitate toward those who share my opinion, and find that being around like-minded people gives me the encouragement I need to keep moving forward. Those whose opinions I don’t share challenge me to consider their frame of mind, and to appreciate (especially during this year’s election) that we are all free to live out and voice how we feel.

2. I am going to use this in my networking outings. A much better introduction than “Soo, what do you do?”

3. Interestingly, I am following a video series by Thrive Your Tribe that has me challenging my sense of anonimity. This blog feels anonymous because the only comments I get are from my family. While I am aware that I am writing into the “world wide” web, it doesn’t feel like anyone reads/cares what I write (aside from spammers trying to link their sales pitch into my comments). I do have that “If you don’t want to see it on the front page, don’t do it” motto in the back of my head, and I value my reputation, but I do feel like a minnow in a huge ocean when it comes to blogging and to building my business as an artist.

4. My issue is more with not learning fast enough. Lauren Levato’s drawing course helped me to see that “drawing is constant correction” which applies to many things in life. We wouldn’t have a plethora of erasers if we didn’t have to adjust lines and tones and other glitches both on paper and in life. I held on to a quote I shared recently by James Cameron, where he said “failure has to be an option in art and exploration because it’s a leap of faith. In whatever you’re doing, failure is an option, but fear is not.” We often think failure is the fear, but another famed quote is that at times we have a fear of success. How do we scale up if we do become that overnight success? Like Princess Lasertron writes, we have the prerogative to change our priorities and perspectives. Or as Billy Joel puts it: “She never gives in, she just changes her mind.”

“The truth is that nobody is keeping score except me
and I’m realizing that these ‘failures’ aren’t so much
a function of my own error as a sign of my priorities changing.
It’s awesome to feel like I’m moving on
from my past to greater challenges.”

~ Princess Lasertron

5. I started meeting artistic heroes late last year. I actually introduced myself to Princess Lasertron at The Creative Connection Event, and was surprised by how much she interacted with me in the midst of her busy schedule (I expected she’d be way too cool to have time for aspiring little me). I also met the entire Lasertron family (except Mr. Lasertron), which was really enlightening, because we don’t always see the support network behind those big names. Nuclear family, household helpers, a nurturing network and a receptive market are all key to success. Nothing happens just by a single individual.

“And if you do get the chance to meet people you admire, 
appreciate them for their humanity. 
Holding them to any higher standard than that 
is unfair to them and a sure way to be disappointed.”
Princess Lasertron

My biggest real-life hero is my brother, who is willing to risk his own life for total strangers as a firefighter. As his little sister, I know how human he is in spite of his tall stature, handsomeness, compassion and generosity of spirit. Mythological figures and comic books superheroes all have some flaw, which helps us identify with them more, because it humanizes them.

Today, think about what you know for sure.

Megan gave us a heads-up on this one via Twitter Friday night, and I enjoyed the responses (my favorites below).

What do I know for sure?

Nothing is certain.
We can try to control our lives, but the element of other humans, nature, and the world at large create uncertainties and effects we simply cannot predict. This can be terrifying, but it also creates a host of opportunities for things we couldn’t have imagined from our limited view. The worst that can happen generally has a silver lining with an outpouring of generous energy one cannot anticipate.

Worrying is a waste of energy.
I spent years looking over my shoulder, anticipating bad things, and being fearful of a lot. Yet when I worried about money, somehow the ends always met (even on a Ramen Noodle diet). Health scares turned out to be OK after the followup (and weeks of fretting). Being single doesn’t make me a dowdy spinster nor lonely.

Perspective is everything.
As an outcome of the above, I’ve learned to look on the bright side of things. Yes, I fret about first-world problems and have my grouchy days. But overall, I have so much so many don’t. I am blessed in numerous ways. There are always things to improve upon and strive for, but life in and of itself is a gift and should be appreciated every single day.

Love is everywhere.
The focus in society at large is to pair people up, and to associate “wholeness” and adulthood with marriage/couplehood. But in spite of the Hollywood perpetuation, being a couple isn’t always sunshine and romance. Companionate love is far more important. Yet just because there isn’t a steady companion in my life, doesn’t mean I don’t have love. There is family love, friend love, admiration (quite like crushes) for people’s work/profession/success, and a lot of companionship and nurturing from the community I’ve come to recognize around myself. It’s companionship a-la-carte! Most people you encounter want the best for you, so embrace that and allow them to gift you with their support, generosity and love.

Ask the person closest to you to meet for coffee and share your favorite thing you know about them.
How about taking this prompt and turning it into a Twitter-feed or a Facebook wall comment? Wouldn’t it be nice to respond to a friend’s “like” with “Here’s my favorite thing I know about you.” Since my closest people are miles away, I’ll have to figure out a “virtual coffee” way of doing this.

What don’t I know?
How this year will end. What is going to happen in the coming year. If I’ll make it as a full-time artist in the next few years. Whether I’ll ever meet the love of my life.  How long I have yet to live.

I also don’t know how to respond to “Make a list of things you’d like a good friend to know” yet.

What do you know? And what don’t you know?
Review Princess Lasertron’s post and comment here or link to hers with your Radvent response.

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