Permission to Succeed

January 14, 2016

I'm standing behind a display of my work, eyes searching for potential customers to engage and finding none. I'm practicing my best power stance to urge my brain into feeling and exuding confidence. I remind myself not to let my face show the frustration and disappointment a slow show can make me feel.
A couple ladies walk down the aisle in the direction of my booth... And on to the food cart just past me. I smile as they pass, but their sights are set on food, not jewelry. Dejection gets the best of me for a split second and I cast my eyes downward to compose myself. As I look up again, I glimpse a middle-aged woman, one whose demeanor and fashion choices yell, "I'm an artist!" heading in my direction. Her eccentricity and exuberance put a smile on my face. She has a quick stride, but slows slightly as she rounds the corner of the isle where my booth sits.

"Don't be afraid to make money! Don't be afraid to make money as an artist! I did!" she yells to me without skipping a beat in her stride.

I'm taken aback, for I've never had a stranger impart advice to me so seemingly out of nowhere - let alone something that cut right to the core of what I've been struggling with as a long-time artist and totally new business woman. I yell back, "Thanks! I really needed to hear that!" once I've gotten my bewildered thoughts back into some semblance of order. I follow the woman's path down the aisle with a somewhat blank stare, now lost in contemplation of my goals, desires and fears. It's as if she has given me permission to succeed and a small portion of my nagging worries are shamed into oblivion; my goals, desires, dreams, coaxed closer to the foreground. 

Though I don't usually make New Year's resolutions or consider this time of year to be any more transformative than the other 11 months, life right now just feels totally in flux. So I am taking the time to remind myself of this interaction with a wonderful stranger and bask in the confidence and determination it made me feel. Maybe it's something you needed to hear too?


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