Don't Be Afraid To Be Yourself

Melissa Amato

 These are a few tidbits that I have learned so far in life.  I hope they help you out the same way they did me!  

1. "Just get it on the screen" my keyboarding teacher said from high school.  I was so apprehensive about what I was going to write that I didn't even start.  So, get it on paper and work with it.  Action is better than inaction.

2. Art fascinates me because there are no bounds.  So, when you are painting or not let your mind make you think you can only work in one medium at a time.  You will eventually see a pattern in your work.  So, don't worry about figuring out your genre.  Just realize you are only limited by your own imagination.

3. It's never too late.  George W. Bush started painting after his presidency and it is pretty good.  Morgan Freeman did not start acting until the age of 50 and Diane Lane wasn't until after 40.  So, there is always time.  

4. Quality over Quantity.  The quality of the product will always win out against the quantity.  One really good paintbrush will be better than 12 not so great brush.  And it extends beyond art.  Shoes, clothes, everything.  

5. Tackle your problems head on.  If you don't, they will end up finding you and it will be on their terms.  

6. Don't be afraid to be yourself.  First, you have to know yourself and then you can truly be yourself.  It may take years.  Embrace your own kind of weirdness and revel in the fact that there is no one ever exactly like you and that is a great thing.  

7. Tolerance.  There are things in life that warrant tolerance and then there is not a time for tolerance.  Exhibit tolerance for basic inborn uncontrollable characteristics.  Such as if a person is black, brown or purple....who cares.  They are a person.  That is all that matters.  Then there comes a time where tolerance is no longer required.  These are in times of abuse or injustice.  Not just in a court room but, out in the public.  

8. Find the good in everything.  Everything has a silver lining.  Every story has a reason.  Find that silver lining in your problem and try to focus on that.  Believe me, it will make problems surmountable.  

9.  Lists.  When I feel overwhelmed and I feel like I have a ton to do then, I just write it down.  As I accomplish tasks, it feels great to scratch them off the list.  And, you have all that you need to do there so you can stop obsessing over it.  

10. Material things.  When Katrina hit, I lost almost everything due to flooding.  In the aftermath and still 11 years later, I could take or leave material things.  Get rid of what you don't use or wear.  Basically, if you don't use it on the daily, get rid of it.  Clutter is the enemy to your mind, body and soul.  

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