Be the You-est You That You Can Be, Baby

The world needs you. Not just any you, but the most you that you can be.

Lessons from my floral mural

That’s right — I’m re-creating my floral mural!

I had a floral mural. Then I had to dismantle it. It was gone forever and that made me sad. Even more sad than I expected. So, I decided to do another one. Another wall, another mural. I ran into a major hurdle when I couldn’t find any of the adhesive flowers I’d used for the original. Not a one. No reasonable substitutes either.

The world is full of adversity

It really is. Sometimes it seems the world conspires to push you into a pigeon hole, or limit your horizons, or corner or even crush you.

Persevere when the odds are against you

I kept on the lookout but couldn’t find the designs I wanted anywhere. After a couple months I was discouraged, then kicked myself for not stocking up. Many more months went by and I tried to stop looking because, why add bad feelings to life?

Then over the holidays — guess what!

Leave no stone unturned

I found a batch of the same product! Yes! But altogether different designs. No! I didn’t like any of them. It didn’t look promising, but I dismantled six shelves of stacked items searching anyway. At the very bottom were three of what was now obviously discontinued stock. One. Two. Three. The clouds parted and I understood what it felt like to score a hat trick.

Floating out of the store, it occurred to me that my degree of happiness might be a bit disproportionate. I was rushing home with a handful of stickers, after all. I don’t claim to understand all the mysteries of the universe, but I learned a thing or two.

“Perseverance is the secret of all triumphs.”

Victor Hugo knew of what he spoke. I bet he would have liked my mural too. Here it is, in progress,

floral mural in progress smp


The past is a curious thing

When I started re-creating the original mural, I did it wrong. I realized too late and was really annoyed because I didn’t have enough material to redo it. Why had I taken for granted that I’d reflexively duplicate it just because I loved it? Maybe a topic for another post.

“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Did Thomas Edison ever run out of material? I don’t think so.

Hmmm. What now? I had two choices: dismantle and replace with something entirely different or push through somehow. How?

Embrace how you’ve changed

Okay. A different time. A different place. A different me? Seems that even small differences have an impact. I can roll with that. Now what to do with too much white space? Deconstruct and reconstruct.

Life is a lot like jazz, it’s best when you improvise.”

Did George Gershwin have a mural too? I wondered, as I got the scissors. Cutting the flowers felt risky. So did the mixing and reconfiguring. As I put the pieces up, it started feeling like a mistake. Can this piece really go with that? Then, I didn’t like it. I made myself sleep on it before taking it down and tossing it out. Now it’s growing on me. I think I know where I’m going with it.

Then an even more curious thing happened

I was energized! I made a cup of tea, of course. Then, I hung a print I’d recently picked up. I knew where it would go when I first saw it, but for some reason it was still in the packaging, leaning against a dresser. Then, I put up a shelf that I wasn’t sure belonged. Did it belong? Absolutely. It’s perfect in that spot. Then, I went through some clothes and put together items for a couple of friends. How does my number of clothes increase without any action on my part? Another mystery of the universe. Then, I wrote a blog post.

And it clicked

The mural is a creative project. Obviously. But, I hadn’t thought of it in those terms. I just knew it was something I loved. Not that I’m necessarily good at it, but that’s not the point. It makes me happy. Conceptualizing it, doing something I didn’t like and then getting even more creative to make it work somehow, and even looking at it in this incomplete state.

Be the you-est you that only you can be

I hadn’t had time to do anything creative for a while. Feels like a long while. I used to think everyone was creative, but some friends as well as social scientists are saying otherwise. Either way, there’s no doubt that being creative makes me intrinsically happy. I knew this already, but its importance is glaringly obvious with this whole mural episode.

The world needs you

Whatever floats your boat, teases a smile at the corners of your mouth, fills your heart with happiness, or rocks your world — do it. Find a way. As much as possible. If you have to stop, be sure to start again.

There’s only one you, and the world is a better place when you’re your you-est you.


“If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate,
you are sure to wake up somebody.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



18 thoughts on “Be the You-est You That You Can Be, Baby

  1. “Perseverance is the secret of all triumphs.” Never a truer observation. I found this neatly describes my photography whether waiting for an animal to come out from its hiding place or taking a long exposure night photograph. The splendors of this life come known to us when we stop, wait and enjoy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog post … and thank you for my morning smile. g

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much, G. I’m glad to know there are parallels. Your photography is fantastic and I can imagine the amount of time and perseverance required to get those shots. “The splendors of this life come known to us when we stop, wait and enjoy” is very quotable. I’m delighted that you smiled, G. Thank you for your kind and generous words, as always.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve had similar experiences and have wished that I slept on something before scrapping it. I tip my hat to you for persevering and creating something new. It’s great to feel that inspired this early in the year!

    Liked by 1 person

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