I've not always been myself. I've neglected parts of who I am and hidden my true self from the world. I've feared showing up as I am, because being rejected would hurt so much more if I was truly myself.
When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to be honest.
I wanted to reveal myself to the world. I longed to tell my story the way I see it. Make a space that is entirely designed after who I am.
I was tired of hiding.
For many of us, creativity is so intertwined with who we are, not putting our authentic selves into our craft feels like telling a lie.
That's why sales techniques is so uncomfortable and rules are so annoying.
Being ourselves is being free.
From the very start, I've tried to make my website show who I am
They call it personal branding and it's basically designing something to reflect who you are.
In my first design, I embraced my love for nature and adventure, but it only showed a part of me. My homebody, bookish, reflective side got pushed away.
After a few attempts, I designed the website I've had now for about a year. I mix adventurous nature photos with my imperfectly painted words and colorful teacups.
The term Teacup Owls arrived to me after trying to find something that balanced brave adventure with cozy reflection.
Lately, I've felt my website needs an update, because I've grown in my creativity. The first year of brave exploration has slowed down to a colorful creative life, where I most of all long to invite you in to talk honestly about being messy creatives and going after our scary dreams.
I've thought back and forth about how to redesign my website, what to focus on and how to balance creating bravely with living slowly.
Then it suddenly came to me, like creative ideas often do after many hours of trying and thinking.
I want my website to be a virtual Teatime for messy creatives. You know, like gathering a group of creatives for tea and talking honestly about our creative lives. Helping each other find strategies. Cozy and encouraging.
So that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm turning my website into Teatime and I hope I'll have it ready to share with you in two weeks.
You're allowed to be yourself
Sometimes the online world feels shallow and dishonest, but it doesn't have to be. The internet is what we make it, and we get to show up as we are.
If you have a website, an Instagram account or an Etsy shop, you get to choose your favorite colors and design it with the things you love the most, the things that are you.
A pot of green tea makes me happy and I do most of my writing with a cat either on my lap or on the desk beside me. I take walks in nature to wind down and I bring at least one book with me everywhere I go. All of those things will be part of my new website.
The thing is, when you design after who you are, you both stand out and stay you at the same time.
Tell the world what you value
Teacups and books are carriers of memories and associations, making people think of slow Sundays and stories that grab your heart. Without having to explain, we feel instantly connected, we understand.
But material things only take us so far. There are things that are best expressed in words - our stories and our values. Why we make the choices we make and which experiences define us.
Since I started my Fear Year, I've built up a view of creating that is extremely important to me. It guides me in my projects and helps me stay brave.
Without those values, my creative life would look entirely different. I bet you have some of your own, beliefs that guide you and give meaning to what you do.
When we share those values, we invite others in to understand both who we are and our creations better. It gives us a common starting point. It builds connections when we find values we agree on.
I encourage you to be brave and share your view on your craft. That's what I'm gonna do now. In two weeks, I can invite you in for Teatime. Until then, this is my Teatime Manifesto.
A Teatime Manifesto
It's okay to be afraid, but don't let that stop you. To create and go after our dreams require courage.
Be your own best friend, because you'll be stuck with yourself for the rest of your life. Never forget to care for yourself.
Tell the world who you are, because your honest, authentic self is invaluable.
In creativity, you get to decide which rules to follow. So don't just do what everyone else says. Do what is true to you.
There's beauty in our flaws, so let's start embracing and stop hating.
Forget the results and dive into the joy of creating.
Because you can't fail at creativity. If you don't reach your goals, you still spent time doing what you love.
There's room for us all, so let's have a cup of tea and turn our dreams into reality!