In maths class at school I kept a deliberately low profile.
As an otherwise fairly bright lass who just couldn’t get to grips with Maths – wrong side of the brain, I guess – I was in a low set in which it wasn’t cool to be seen to be making any effort.
Even in art class, where I did really well, I was teased for being a “girly swot”.
It just wasn’t considered cool to aim high.
Of course, now we’re all grown up, we can live our lives however we choose. But isn’t there still a rumbling under-current of “It’s not all that cool to try too hard or do well?”
I notice it a fair bit on Instagram.
I guess it’s a backlash to Pinterest perfection, but for some reason, it’s not considered a good thing to keep your house looking nice or to care about the presentation of things.
It’s sometimes joked that folks with nice homes must have too much time on their hands or that they’re hiding the true picture out of sight.
And I frequently come across the opinion that an Instagram feed that is in any way curated or thought-out is fake or showy.
And even in our scrappy world, there’s sometimes a suggestion that the ‘proper,’ worthwhile layouts are those that favour the story over the aesthetics.
In my years in this hobby, I’ve definitely sniffed a divide between those who scrapbook to record memories and those who scrap for the creative process or to promote product.
Which is kind of a shame, as we’re all ultimately on Team Scrap, aren’t we?
I came across an Australian expression a while back:
“Tall poppies get cut down.”
It’s the idea of not sticking your head up higher than anyone else and not thinking too much of yourself.
And while I do get that it’s not great to get a hugely puffed-up ego, I’m not about to pay any attention to how others perceive me or my work.
I’ve finally found my thing and I’m going to give it my absolutely best, every single day: probably until my hands fail me.
Because when we relax and express what’s in us – as often as that needs to be expressed – the magic happens. We find ourselves living out our true callings and finding so much joy in the process.
It’s only when we’ve got one eye continually on what’s expected, what’s popular and what everyone else is doing, that it all gets a bit anxious and fraught.
The joy gets stifled because we’re giving too much thought to the onlookers: imagining what they might say about us and our work.
Bringing my best doesn’t mean slogging for hours on immaculate, intricate projects (although I’d never criticise anyone who does, that’s just not my thing).
Bringing my best means making that next right thing that’s in me to be made: not over-thinking it, just having fun and getting it done.
It means throwing that work out there and ignoring any critics and poppy-pruners – after all, we each get to decide who we allow to rain on our parades!
I’ve spent way too many years trying to keep my head under the radar of school mockery to bother with all that nonsense now.
It’s time to,
“Rise and shine and give God the glory.”