Saturday, April 01, 2006

NO, don't tell me it's really true!

Have you ever read this book? It used to be one of my FAVORITES! Well, ok, it still is. I read it a million times as a kid and now I read it to my niece and nephew who love it too.

If you don't know the story, I'll give you a brief synopsis. It goes like this: Grover doesn't want you to turn pages because he thinks there is a monster at the end of the book. He ties pages down, builds brick walls, begs, pleads..."STOP!!! PLEASE, whatever you do...DON'T turn the PAGE!!!" Poor old Grover is scared...but when we get to the end Grover finds that he was scared for nothing--there's no monster at the end of this book--just lovable, furry old Grover.

Ok--so I admit it. I've been feeling a little bit like ol' Grover. So much so that I haven't even read the last chapter because I've been wanting to save it for a less busy time when I can savor it. ha!

But despite my best efforts--we've arrived (as a group) to the end of the book. And surprise! There's no monster, no real ending--just a bunch of artists who have become friends.

This morning I finally cracked open chapter 12 and was happy to find a creativity contract (page 202) to continue doing morning pages and artist's dates for the next 90 days. YAY! Duh--what a great idea. Not that I haven't thought about doing it on my own, but actually committing to it makes a difference for me.

The Artist Way has done some pretty incredible things for me in the past 3 months which include:
  • I quit smoking (after being a smoker for 15 years)
  • I changed my diet--started eating healthier, more organic--and lost 7 lbs.
  • I started getting real with myself--in more ways than one.
  • I met an incredible group of women and found an inspiring, supportive network of friends.
  • I realized that I thrive in supportive environments--and that non-supportive environments are bad for me.
  • I realized that I need to be true to MYSELF.
  • I quit trying to be someone I'm not.
  • I got more active.
  • I started WANTING to write (and DOING it). This is BIG! Because of experiences in Grad school, I've struggled with it (and myself) for a long time.
  • I started setting more realistic goals for myself rather than the ridiculously unattainable goals I had been setting before.
  • I've become more accepting of my body.
  • I've started spending more time with friends.
  • I'm happier, and therefore, my relationship with my husband has gotten better.
  • I've started taking the things I need to be a happy and successful artist seriously.
Now that I look back at it, I'm amazed that all this happened in 3 months. I mean, Holy COw!

And technically, I'm not quite finished. I'll go back and do chapter 11 and 12 over the next couple weeks. Then I'll keep going for the next 90 days...and then maybe another 90...who knows. But what I DO know is that I'm incredibly thankful for stumbling onto Kat's blog and finding the rest of you in the process.

I'm probably not going to continue writing on this particular blog because I have another "regular" blog...and, as I mentioned in my last post, I can't keep up with both. But I will say that this blog has empowered me to say things that I would have never said before. Before, I was trying to play a little bit harder edge in life. Why? I don't know--maybe because I like to pretend I'm a rock star (haha!) or maybe because academia doesn't like softies. But fuck 'em. Cynicism will only get you so far. This blog helped me get real with both myself and others. It helped get me back to center.

Because I don't want to lose touch with any of you, I hope you'll add my Diary of a Self-Portrait blog to your sidebar links. The address is:

And I promise to add your links to that site soon.

For me, maybe that has been the real "Monster" at the end of this book--that I'll lose contact with you by moving back to my other blog. My fears probably make as much sense as Grover's--and hopefully, I'll be as happily surprised. Anyway, I like Tess's suggestion to "have a remedial AW group for skimpers, skippers and out-right cheaters (like me)! We can make up for lost chapters and stretch it out for weeks!" ha! What a great idea!

It feels like graduation day (except that I'm still in my pajamas)--and I want to give you all a great big hug--but, alas, you'll have to just pretend that you can feel it. These past 3 months have been down-right incredible and powerful. Ok--but I'm starting to sound like an info-mertial--so I'll end with saying:

and please stay in touch!



Anonymous Jill said...

That is such a wonderful list. Congratulations!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

Fantastic report!!!
Wish I could give you a trumpet fanfare!

Put you on my favorites list so will be watching for more posts at your other persona.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I will bookmark your blog. I want to definitely keep in touch with you! You are amazing! You quit smoking!! My goodness! Bravo to you!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Cate said...

You amaze me! What an inspiring list! Kudos to you on all of your recent accomplishments and for realzing all that you are capable of achieving!

P.S. I love that Grover book, too!

6:22 PM  
Blogger melba said...

I am excited for you and I KNOW even more is coming your way.
You believe in you now and it shows.
Way to go!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

I love, love, loved that "monster at the end of the book" when I was a kid. I had my mom read it to me over and over again. As an adult I purchased a new copy of it and sometimes I reread it just for fun. Loved your report and will follow you to your main blog and update my link.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to hear about all the wonderful changes in your life because of AW. Yay!

1:55 PM  
Blogger ArtsyMama said...

Good for you!! I **applaude** you wholeheartedly. I will certainly be seeing you over on your other blog. Keep in touch!

9:21 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i'm adding you today...
and i am blown away by your list
of accomplishments over the
past little while!

i'm so glad that i found you
and the others thru kat...
are you going to continue on
with her other site too?

oh...and grover...
is so NNNEEAAARR to my heart
and never very FFFAAARRR away
from my mind,

11:27 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

what an amazing inspiring list!! i'm going to put you on the list(your regular blog) at contagious creativity, which is definitely an extension of the aw. i hope people will continue to do the mp's and ad's if they were helpful. using the contract is a great! if there are exercises you haven't done that you'd like me to stick up there as part of cc, let me know! :-)

3:14 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

p.s. that was one of my favorite books as a kid. it made me smile to see the cover here.

and i had the same feeling when i finished the aw in a group the first time around. i wanted to savor the ending, drag it out. but as long as a supportive community continues on, the process can as well. xoxoxo

3:16 PM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I have done the Artist's Way and it really helped get me started. Although.. frankly I need another boost. ;-)

10:49 AM  
Blogger tess said...

Wow, Jessie! What a list! That's pretty incredible and inspiring that you did all that. Please savor that list for a good long time--over and over like the Grover book. Meanwhile, I must go put your new link on my sidebar and sometime soon shop for the a new Grover finger puppet to replace the one I loved as a child. :)

12:27 PM  

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