A Guest Post: Michelle Gardella

Today is the first guest post of a few I have planned while I’m in the hospital and recovering from my surgeryMichelle is a constant source of inspiration and courage for me. Her talent is one thing, but her soul will absolutely blow you away. She inspired this postI wrote back in June and I’m so thrilled to have her here on The Stork today. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Asking for help when you’re an artist is a hard thing. When you make something, it becomes an extension of yourself and every time you put that something out into the world, there’s a part of you that becomes vulnerable.
With no further adieu…
I teach a class online, and at the core of the curriculum it’s all about telling the truth. With our photographs, with our words, to the world, and most importantly, to ourselves.
Each week I’d show up and share. And each week, I felt like the biggest coward ever. Here I was, preaching and praying for the reclamation of everyone’s creative fires, but deep inside I was completely ignoring my own. I was encouraging everyone else to fight down their resistance, while completely bowing down to mine. I was waiting for the day when I wasn’t so terrified.
A book.
It has always been my one giant dream. The scary kind of dream that makes you want to run away forever. The kind that keeps you awake at night. The kind that resurrects your biggest inner demons: self-doubt, fear, denial.
A book.
I launched my kickstarter campaign. And it might seem so romantic and beautiful and poetic. And it is! Don’t get me wrong. But it is also in the face of the accumulation of countless inner fights with myself. “What are you thinking?! Why would ANYONE want to see your images or words printed?! If you fail your children will think so little of you!” Yup. My resistance doesn’t mess around, and this whole process has taught me this:
It’s never going to feel easy. It’s never going to feel fearless. Your palms will sweat, and your adrenaline will charge, and your mind will totally keep playing tricks on you. But, you HAVE to do it anyways.
My son shared a quote with me this morning, “Can you be brave when you are totally afraid? In fact, that is the ONLY time it can be called bravery.”

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