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You look like an artist

Over my 35+ years, many people have graciously said all kinds of nice things to me.  Things like, “You look pretty today” or “I love your scarf” or, more recently, ” I really like your writing.”  That’s one of my favourites.  I also love, “Thank you for helping me”, not because I thrive on that acknowledgement, but because it is nice to know that I was there for someone when they needed it.  That means the world to me.

I don’t usually hold up a compliment for too long when I get one.  I usually savour it for a few sweet moments, then store them deep inside in a little gratitude box in my heart.  I don’t wear them loudly, but I never discard them either.  I go back to them when I need to, but usually they stay safely tucked away, never to be lost.

But there is one that keeps bubbling back up – one I can’t just tuck away.  It gives me a secret thrill every time.

Several years ago, just when I was starting to think about cracking the shell around me to let a little light in – or rather, to let a little light out – I met someone named Andy.  Since then, Andy has become a good friend, but I’ll never ever forget what he said to me the first time we met.

Andy: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a banker

Andy: Really? I thought you were an artist.

He thought I was an artist.

Oh, those words still ring like sweet music in my ears.  All the validation I had secretly desired hitting me in the face like a fastball from someone I’d known for 60 seconds.

I’m still not quite sure what it was that gave him that impression.  Was it my *ahem* artsy blue jeans and sailor sweater?  My perfectly flat-ironed hair?  Was it because I was with Stu, who would only hanging out with an artist, and not with a square banker type like me?

I asked Andy about it later, and he said, “I don’t know.  You just look like an artist.”

I looked like an artist.  I have been waiting my whole life for someone to say that to me.  Because of course, once I looked like an artist, then I could finally be an artist.

Silly, silly, Fahrin.

In my mind, if I lookelike an artist, that meant that I would actually be an artist. Of course, now I know that if I just made art, I would be an artist.  And then, whatever I looked like is what an artist would look like.  Duh.

But even though I know this, I still fall back into my old habits from time to time.  My bestie and I visited the One Of A Kind Show in town this season, and I bought a beautiful knit headband.  I turned to her to ask her how it looked.

You look like an artist.”


2 thoughts on “You look like an artist

  1. why does it matter so much to you what an artist “looks like”? A real artist knows how to create beauty, or write well, which obviously you need to work at

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