People like to know secrets. It’s a thing. Some are good about passing those secrets right along to others who do not currently know the secret. That’s also a thing. A fast way to get the word out is to open a conversation with ideas like it’s not been made official or not many people know yet, and the news will surely get around. This is how my painting became a secret and one I was very good at keeping.

I remember the first time I told someone outside of my immediate family (as in you live in the same house as me) that I had begun painting.  It happened to be a relative so they were surprised to find out this news wasn’t all that recent. Sharing this didn’t feel as awful as I was expecting. Naturally, I asked them not to tell anyone which was funny because others were within earshot.

The more I began to talk about painting, the more I heard the same recurring themes. Themes like “I want to do something artistic but don’t think I’d be any good at it.” “Everyone else in my family is creative but I don’t have any of it.” “I want to try something new, but wish I knew where to start.” This happened in the conversation with the relative.

After chatting about this painting I was doing, they piped up about another relative they knew who wanted to paint but hadn’t gone there yet. They were sitting right next to me. Again affirming we are not the only ones on the planet thinking and feeling these things. 

Enough conversations on this topic with these same comments and themes caused me to ponder. My pondering was on the idea of blogging. I had aimlessly dabbled in this space before, but it was truly hit or miss. The idea of putting the spotlight on the amateur painter with no formal training seemed focused and purposed. There was a single question I need to answer. The question was why. Why was I going to put myself out there?

The answer became startlingly clear. I had never done that.

The issue with this that I saw is that I have encouraged others to go for it any number of times I have been in conversation where someone starts sharing hopes and dreams. The times where these are realistic endeavors that they can be pursuing, I just want to shout, “just go do it already!” But I say something much more diplomatic—although it’s possible I’m still shouting out of passion. However, if I look at my own life, I spend more time prodding others than I spend doing anything about my own. This is a problem.

It required taking stock of my own interests, passions and dreams. Quite an undertaking. Some had changed or gone away. Some were just sitting there waiting for me to remember. Now that I was thinking about taking the equivalent of a baby step forward, my decision was yes because it boiled down to one thing: if I didn’t it would be hypocritical. I would not do that to my son.

I do not blog for my son. I blog because it has been good for me. What I didn’t want was for my encouragement to him to be empty. That was important to me and something I take seriously.

The question of whether to share or not to share has been answered, and I would answer the same way if I had to do it over. It all came down to the why behind it and whatever your reason is is the answer to this question.