My favorite children’s book series is Frog and Toad. I’ve always loved the simplicity and hilarity of the stories and it dawned on me only recently that perhaps Frog and Toad were more than friends. Lobel, author and illustrator, came out to his family pretty late in life and then died from AIDS. Everyone needs to accept everyone for who they are. Why judge others?
Which brings me to a comment my husband made to me this morning. He was looking over my shoulder, watching me draw the frogs.
“So when are you going to draw your own things?”
“I don’t know…the things you like.”
“I like what I’m doing. I have drawn things on my own and they were pretty terrible. I’m still learning.”
“Just draw your own things.”
I understand what he’s saying. And I have wondered if I’m playing it safe by drawing out of a book, but I really am a beginner. My goal is to practice drawing until December 31st and then try my own “things.”
And that is when I will make my leap!
Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet in 1997. She was at the top of her game at the time, starring in her popular “The Ellen Show.”
Why did she take the risk? Because she felt it was important -and healthier – than living in fear or denial of who she really was. The “secret” made her feel as if she was wrong and she knew she was right.
So she came out as the real Ellen and then had her character come out on the show.
She lost her show. No one would call her. She got no gigs.
For three years, she was stripped of all the external factors of identity: no career or the benefits that come with it. Not only that, some of her previous fans berated her and judged her. Christian groups picketed her studio and mentioned God while acting very un-Christian. Studios wouldn’t touch her.
You realize who you really are when you don’t have anything. – Ellen
And then “Finding Dory” came along. Ellen also got her own new talk show. She’s immensely popular all over again. Only now, she has no secrets.
Does she regret coming out?
NOT AT ALL.
“It’s the best -because I’m free.
I’m completely able to be exactly who I am.”*
I was watching an old (actually, timeless) interview with Quentin Tarantino. He was talking about his life before becoming a film maker. Did you know he worked in a video store? He was a clerk! His old life was very comfortable and he admitted he was pretty happy.
And then he realized he had “something to say.”
He was better than his friends, which was not hard to do, since they were drug addicts with no ambition. He got real. He realized that he could continue to live his life watching free movies behind a counter and be superior to all those around him OR…work towards his dreams of being a filmmaker.
And the rest is history.
Do you have something to say? What one step could you take – NOW – towards your dream?