Monday, January 16, 2017

On Being the Noun

Photo: Nellie Escalante

In a blog post I wrote back in October titled, On Having a Second Art Language, I talked about the freedom in being the verb, in simply doing our art. I wrote, “ and that’s the beauty of having a second art language, it allows you to remain the verb without the pressure of being the noun. It allows you to just SING, instead of being the Singer. Today, however, I’d like to chat a little bit about being the noun.

Being the noun is important when we find it difficult to get to the verb, to get to the doing. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of who we are. Being the noun motivates us to do and sometimes we have to tell ourselves who we are so we can get unstuck. Here’s an example:  “Come on, move your butt, you are an artist, make some art!” Or “you are a poet” or “a writer, now write!”

There are times, when I’m discouraged or in a funk, when I have to tell myself, “stop it, you are a child of God, you will be fine, He’s got this, you were fearfully and wonderfully made.” Because, yes, He (God) created you (verb) but He is also the creator, (noun), and knowing that this is his job title, Creator, gives me comfort, peace, joy, and assurance.

The other day, my friend and I were sharing and encouraging each other. At the end of our conversation, she didn’t say, “thank you for encouraging me, instead, she said “Nellie, you are such an encourager.” It immediately clicked, “ahh, the noun.” I do love to encourage others and route people on, and to be called the noun, it was just different when I heard it that way, “encourager.” It simply solidified this identity in me.

So friends, go ahead and label yourselves! I know this is not encouraged in our society but there are times when we just need to tell ourselves who we are, whether it be Artist, Writer, Dancer, Scientist, whatever it is. We need to remind ourselves, especially when we are feeling discouraged. There is no arguing with your identity and once you have that down, you can quickly get to the fun part, the doing.