I don’t know why this idea persists that competition and the arts are odd bed sisters. But it does.
I know that for years, competition had so much sport’s testosterone slathered over it that I cringed just to hear the word.
Then one time, when I made sure I got to a local potter’s studio right when she opened (I had a hankering for this lovely, tiny bowl that was actually a small nesting bird), my friends who were meeting me there “accused” me of being highly competitive because I got the bowl and about 3 other items that simply called to me.
Well, blown me down! If you never!
If I’d been asked to list ten-thousand adjectives about myself, competitive would have never showed up.
I didn’t play sports. Didn’t enter contests. Never felt elated when I got a better test score than someone else, or a better grade in school.
And yet, there I was clearly getting a head start so I’d have first dibs at the potter’s studio.
Of course, that time the competitive label came with a derogatory implication that somehow what I’d done was unfriendly. I remember the sting of feeling emotionally ostracized the rest of the day – but not to the point of giving up my bird bowl!
In re-imagining this distant past, I realize I also had another emotion that…
Keep reading →