Updated: Feb 9
Most of the time when I receive an honor, I jump straight into it, but I want to take a moment to say it like it is. The reality is that for every honor, recognition, and success I receive, here is the flip side of that reality:
I get rejected. A LOT! I "fail" A LOT!
I receive "thanks, but no thanks" letters time and time again, and things so often don't go as planned. Pieces I thought for sure would win, or at the very least be juried into a show get declined, or sales don't go through with clients and marketing. There are times when I think, "This is IT! This is the show that will gain me the exposure I need!", but I don't even make the first cut. Then I can feel down and begin to wonder if I'm even good enough to be doing what I'm doing.
I share this to remind myself and anyone who sees this post of this truth: Each of us is created uniquely, even though we may share similar giftings. Thus, no two voices, journeys, or stories are ever going to be the same. The tendency is to measure ourselves by the people around us, especially those with similar talents. Unfortunately, when we do this, we are devaluing our own story and callings. God wastes nothing, but that doesn't mean that the road to fulfilling our full potential is easy. When we view others' successes, we aren't seeing how many "failures" it took them to get there! There are so many things people want to leave behind in 2020; I hope that one thing I leave firmly in the past is my tendency to compare myself to others and find myself lacking.
That tendency of mine actually makes this achievement a bit laughable. I entered a landscape show, since that is my main genre. Honestly, my only hope was to at least get in to gain some exposure. I never even for a moment thought I would win anything, much less top honor. So when I received an email notification that at least one of my works was accepted, I followed the link to see what got in. The laughable part is that even though my painting, Autumn Joy was plastered at the top in poster form advertising the Best of Show Winners, it went right over my head! It wasn't until I scrolled down and read the results that I realized what had happened: I won Best of Show in the 6th Annual Landscape Exhibition, Traditional Category! [Insert big grin and happy girls squeal here.]