I’ve been struggling with a weird conglomerate of emotions that I haven’t quite been able to put a label on. It’s probably due to a lack of a decent sized vocabulary with better descriptive capabilities, but nevertheless, I have been unsure of my feelings.
I’ve been caught in this emotional conundrum of anxious excitement, nervous calm and the simultaneous feeling of ready to go and ready to run. I’m confident in my artwork and have been successful in my recent attempts to sell my creations, but I feel as though I’m about to vend my toughest venue yet.
Anyone from Arkport, or who has ever been through the tiny little village, just fell out of their chairs. They are now lying on the floor and laughing hysterically at what probably seems like the most ludicrous statement they have ever witnessed. Arkport Summerfest is a small town weekend festival with nothing to fear but parade remnants of horse feces left in the road and perhaps a stray paper lantern just before the fireworks display on Saturday night. (Of course because of the fireworks, the fire department is just a hop, skip and a jump away if any danger should befall. Well that, and because the fire house is right next to the park.)
As a former Arkportian, I’ve gone to this event almost every year for as long as I can remember. I’ve marched in the parade, I’ve performed with my cheerleading squad, I’ve even sang karaoke at this festival—so why am I so anxious and nervous to go back now?
I am not one to need the approval of others to feel validated. If I were, I probably never would have worn my pajamas to school on a regular basis. Or my slippers. I’m confident about who I am and I’m not afraid to go back home because of that. I’m also confident in my art and am not afraid to show it or sell it to others. I’m not even afraid of people disliking my work. (Hey, its art! Its objective and that’s part of the point!) I do feel vulnerable though. And this is where I can’t quite understand the feeling because I don’t know what makes me feel so vulnerable. The people in this town have either grown with me or watched me grow, and despite my confidence, putting my work—my blood, my sweat, my tears and my passion—all on display before them is scary.
Yet, at the same time, I’m excited to show Arkport what I’ve been doing. Maybe the majority of festival goers won’t like my work. Maybe even more won’t be interested in making any purchases (and I’ll be forced to go home poorer than I am now), but I still want them to see it. Arkport will always be my hometown. It will always be important to me. And I guess its for that reason that I want the people of Arkport to see where I am now and what I’m doing because that’s important to me too.
I may have left Arkport, but it will never leave me.
I don’t know if any of that makes any sense to any of you, but if you are in or around Arkport this weekend, please stop by my tent and see my work. Feel free to love it or hate it, but whatever you do, definitely stop by!
Side note, check out my Twitter page where you’ll find an image of my cats taken by the new Pet Cube pet monitor I won in a Best Buy Twitter contest. You’ll also see a box with the new Hoover Pet Pro vacuum I won too. Super cool.
This is the photo I won with!