Gypsy Belly Dancing Calico Cat Twirling

My Gypsy Dancing Cat was inspired by celebrating freedom and life.

The Snow lies deceptively.
Its reflective purity covering the soil beneath.
But Judicial Sun shines truth upon the fragile web.
Deceit retreats in tears.

– TaraFly, circa 1996

I wrote this little poem in my junior year of high school, for a creative writing assignment. I had completely forgotten these four lines until recently, when I began mulling over the direction I’ve taken in my creative career.

It was originally written about a boy I knew; a cunning liar who fooled everyone with his charms and honest face.

Today, it speaks to me about personal integrity, and the importance of being authentic and true to your vision. Otherwise, the false pretenses will melt away under the intense scrutiny of friends and strangers alike.

When your life is an open Facebook, you cannot sustain a lie very long.

I wanted to blog about “embracing your inner odd-ball” and turning off those pompous voices who demand that you surrender to trends and fads.
I’ve rewritten this post 3 times already, and the first one was pretty humorous, but it took the entire day to write and didn’t quite come together.
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such trouble putting my thoughts into words – perhaps because it’s a tough subject to tackle with confidence.

I’m still battling these demons who tempt me.. wanting me to imitate the style of my competitors, under-price my efforts in order to “sell more”, and get caught up in the whole marketing game.

I’ve lost sight of what inspired me initially – to share my humorous cat-obsessed view of the world with others who would appreciate it….
I’ve transformed my love of painting into a chore – “I must paint something new this week”
I’ve pushed myself too hard in order to keep up with my peers – many of whom don’t have young children to raise, and their 14-16 hour workdays are providing their only source of household income.

The melancholy I’ve felt these past few weeks is the burden of self-deception… a fragile blanket spread over my life that was suffocating my creative spirit.

I need to be honest with myself, and honest with my friends, fans, and fellow competitors…
I need to remind myself every day, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.”

I will walk barefoot instead, at a slower pace, and I will take the time to be inspired by the world around me, and to appreciate what I’m actually working towards.

Because in the end, the only gift worth giving the world is our true selves – our unique vision. So reach our your hand, and let someone accept it.
Speak from your heart, and someone will listen.