self portrait challenge – what i wear

Oct 31, 2007 | Life in Progress

(more self portraits here)

this is what i wear, just about every other day. these jeans, with paint all over them, torn at the bottom and here and there, are my favorite. they’re old gap jeans, too big, but comfy and perfect for days spent in the studio. just the other day john spray-painted a heart on the back pocket of these very jeans. so now i am wearing a heart shaped memento, courtesy of my dear one, on my booty.

i’ve been listening to deb talan most of the day (as i paint and write and paint and write) and there is something about her that makes me contemplative. i’ve been thinking about my own vulnerabilities. about how learning to embrace all the bits and pieces of it has really felt empowering to me which has been such an unexpected lesson. embracing my vulnerability, to me, means expressing my life outwardly and honestly. this means sharing (and owning, not diluting) my joys and my struggles. it means telling someone what i love about them, even if i risk sounding like a dork. it means having delicate conversations with my man where i can express my fears, my dreams, my hopes. it means crying when i need to cry and maybe talking about that with another girlfriend. it means saying out loud to the universe what i really want, even if that want changes tomorrow. it means telling my story, even if telling it feels awkward. it means putting my truth out into the universe at the risk of feeling exposed. it means doing the very things i fear. it, in the most simplest ways, means being honest, letting the contents of my heart spill into into they way i see myself and how i relate to others. it doesn’t mean, as a friend and i were discussing the other day, that i am weak, or that i invite hurt or drama into my life. being vulnerable doesn’t have to mean either of those things. instead, it’s our strength calling us, to pay attention, to be ok with all the ebbs and flows of emotion. to celebrate that. to say it out loud.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (11 comments)
  1. aprylian

    Loved this post! I think my favorite part is about shouting out to the Universe what you want today, even if tomorrow you change your mind–I soooo do that–just need to be fine with it, I guess. Thanks for your words. What’s your book about?


  2. Tori

    This is a beautiful post and very inspiring.
    I appreciate the fact that you wear these jeans so often. I have my standard comfy outfit that really reflects me and I am glad that others do this too.

  3. Karen

    What a beautiful post. I’m glad you’re willing to share this journey with the rest of us…

    BTW, the article in CPS was WONDERFUL. I loved it, and dug around and found my brayer today!

  4. aka Cate

    I’m a big fan of Gap jeans too!!

    I loved reading what vulnerable means to you, and the ways in which you embrace it. It helps me think about how I can put the conept of being vulnerable into practice.

    Warm wishes to you.

  5. Alexandra S

    You are so very right Kelly. I’ve nearly always found that when I can risk being vulnerable instead of making a decision not to be out of fears I’m always so glad I did. (&I owe you some $- I haven’t forgotten! I’ve just been too busy or lame to get to the p.o. and get some stamps. I just said the other day to someone I have postal paralysis now that I pay so many bills online.) anyway sending you huge hugs! Congrats on the new column too-can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

  6. betty

    my favorite jeans are sort of like yours – they have a hole so big in the butt I can’t wear them in public any more.

  7. Colorsonmymind

    Such wisdom. I would just loive to be able to spend a day with you in the studio getting messy having tea and soaking in your words and thoughts.

  8. Liz

    love your description of your painting jeans… sharing and owning, 2 things (of many) I have been thinking about lately… thanks for a wonderful post

  9. Christianne

    I agree with Violette — it gives the rest of us permission when we hear another do it.

    I love what you shared here! I’m learning to embrace my vulnerabilities, too. So scary! But so good, when it comes to really owning my truth. My truth is the only one I can own, and no one else can own it for me. That helps me take risks, when I remember that.

    PS: Love those Gap jeans! I totally recognized them, since Gap jeans are about the only ones I can ever find that fit just right. I think I own the same pair!

  10. violette

    I really appreciate your honesty. It gives others permission to also be honest and vulnerable. Thanks Kelly!

    Love, Violette


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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