The Friends That Scare You

I have the unerring ability to attract a certain type of person. Like flies to a cowpat. Okay, that’s not very savoury. Like bees to honey. Well, that’s just ridiculous. Bees are attracted to pollen in order to make honey. Like moths to a flame. Well, that’s a bit derivative. Like goats to a cabbage. Better, but it’s a bit early for Chinese New Year. Like…

You know what? Forget the analogy. Just trust me that it happens.

There is, within my psyche, a need to draw to myself Button Pushers, Gauntlet Throwers, Challengers, Comfort Zone Destroyers…. you get the picture.

Press Here

These are the ones who say “You should run a half-marathon”, “Come along to this songwriting circle and write and perform your own songs”, “I want you to play a part in this play and you’ll need a Yorkshire accent”, “You’re a great writer, you should start a blog”.

In response, every shy and insecure cell in my body (which is, let’s face it, most of them) starts screaming, “NOOOOOOOO!”

But the reckless, unthinking, adrenaline junkie who lurks in my dark corners, always gets her way.

“OKAY!” she says while I try and work out how that happened.

One of the Button Pushers had her way with me a couple of weeks ago. We were due to catch up and in response to the question of what we should do, having been stuck at home with three teenage boys for a very long, long summer holidays, I said, “Something girly. And creative.” More fool me.

A plan was hatched and I was not to know what it was, only that I was to dress respectably but with comfortable walking shoes. That’s the other thing they do, you know. Spring it on you so you don’t have time to back out.

Setting off together, all was revealed. I was handed a small knapsack that contained a selection of art supplies – paints, pencils, pens, sketch paper. We were going on an urban art excursion.

“You’re gonna make me draw…. in public??!

Well, I did ask for something creative.

You know those teen horror flicks where the friend dares the other friend to walk in the creepy forest or sleep in the haunted house? This was like that, only more cultured.

The first stop was our State Library, a grand old building with a breathtaking domed reading room. I don’t know if it was the permeation of decades of higher learning but I found the experience intimidating and I was depressed by my efforts.

Art Excursion 1

This is not what left the library. At the Boundary Pusher’s insistence, I added the middle bit with the arches and gave it a bit of watercolour after the event. It made me feel a little bit better. Maybe.

The next stop was beside the river. Maybe it was the open air, or the gently flowing water, or maybe it was the boathouses across the river and the scullers going past that made me feel more in my element. I was happier but still not convinced.

Art Excursion 2

There was to have been a nature element to our excursion with a visit to the extensive Botanic Gardens but by then the temperature was into the 30s and tea and cake sounded more appealing. This was the girly part. Tea in china pots and teeny cakes served on white tablecloths at the swishy little café attached to the Art Gallery.

The table had white paper overlaid on the linen tablecloth. And this was an art excursion. (I like to carry a purple pen. I feel like Harold and his crayon.)

It has taken days to prepare this post and quite some measure of nerve to bring myself to make my art pieces public. I am yet to be convinced I possess any real artistic ability.

But that is what the Button Pushers are for, aren’t they? To believe in you more than you believe in yourself. To push you out beyond the view you hold of yourself.

And so, despite my fears, I am truly grateful for the friends that scare me because I would achieve nothing without them.

But I’m not sleeping in a haunted house.

 

 

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61 thoughts on “The Friends That Scare You

  1. Yay, for the Button Pushers!!

    I think it sounds like a terrific outing and I’m sure you remember that artistic ability is all relative … if I had been there, my drawings would have given you a feeling of superiority 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a wonderful outing with high tea to finish with. I hope they served the tea with a Leunig teapot! Drawing and painting are activities that can consume one, so beware! You are lucky to have friends that push your buttons. Though I do like Gerard’s suggestion. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The mini croquembouche! I would endure numerous art humiliations (cannot draw a decent stick-figure) for a chance to devour one of those. You are a very lucky woman to have friends like yours, and I’m certain you add to their wealth of experience too (and suppress to the urge to say NO!) What a wonderful, friend-affirming post. We need each other so much in so many ways!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well I think you are SO lucky to have such friends, ANY friends, and what a fun day out. I have no idea who Harold is or was, but I like the thought of a purple crayon and drawing on tablecloths (…OK I know it wasn’t actually the tablecloth, but still.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All I know how ot draw are stick men. Your drawings look fantastic. What a good sport you are to try. I am afraid I am one of those people who are always trying to get others to push their boundaries.I think I deserve a button pusher t-shirt. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sue. Despite the fears, I think I push on because I have such respect for the Button Pushers, I don’t want to disappoint them. (Which is actually something of a double-edged sword because some of the fear of attempting the task is not succeeding and thus disappointing them.)

      Hm. I sense a marketing opportunity. I shall think on that…. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • One day I hope to get up the nerve to do another one. Maybe in winter when there’s fewer people about.
      Half of this blog would not exist without my Button Pusher friends – no songs, no drawings, no Flying Beetroot. Actually, the blog itself wouldn’t exist because that was a result of another Button Pusher. They may scare me but my life would be boring without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are a genuinely witty|funny person, H ! I have never read a post of your that hasn’t made me laugh, somewhere within it.
    Whoever pushed your button re blogging did us all one very big favour; and I should like you to call that person today and tell her/him so, if you please ! 🙂
    As for the sketching: personally, I believe you need to generate your own work. Being plonked in front of something to draw is nothing like having an idea, imnsvho …
    XOXOXO

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The button pushers merely challenge us to bring to the surface what is already within. That little girl at the top of the tree did not need a button pusher!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, you’ve got me pegged already. 🙂 Yes, I did secretly enjoy it. There really is an adrenaline junkie inside me somewhere. And yes, doing art out in public is equivalent to abseiling. Truly. Well, okay, the cake may have helped in forming my positive opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Typing a comment on my minute phone keyboard with enormous(?) thumb/finger its nigh impossible not to hit the post button when you try to hit backspace! So I was about to say that I don’t believe I have any modicum of natural talent in art, but my interest in it keeps me persisting, which results in lots of mediocre stuff with an occasional stroke of brilliance and that is what keeps me plodding along. I think your drawings are delightfully naive, and not in a childlike way, but in the naive ‘genre’ kind of way! I do wonder what the button pushers will come up with next? I am also sorry I missed this hilarious post and comments until now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dontcha hate that? Happens to me all the time.
      Having checked it out, I dispute your claim to no natural talent. Your work is beautiful and you clearly have an eye. (Hm, I should say that on your blog not mine. I shall do that anon.
      Thank you for your lovely comments about my ‘I have no idea what I’m doing but what the heck’ efforts. 🙂
      The same Button Pusher has decided we shall prepare a set of songs and go busking next. I’m already hyperventilating at the thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That does sound scary. I tried for months working on my voice, and joined a choir, but after getting a respiratory infection and not singing for a few months I was back to square one, and my family kept telling me I can’t sing….. 😦 so I gave up. To sing in public takes a lot of guts! And thank you for the lovely things you said about my art. Again, I have had to work on that for years, as it didn’t come naturally….

        Liked by 1 person

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