So there are two things I know really I’m good at:
1 ~ Finding things out for myself – highly independent.
2 ~ Attempting to achieve high goals I set for myself.
Which also translate to:
1 ~ Not asking for help – ever, even if I know it will help me.
2 ~ Putting extra pressure on myself and those around me. Yay for self discovery, right?
So there I am, having what I can only conclude is a crisis of identity, in Austria, and having to put together a body paint at The Worlds. This would be my 3rd ever body paint ~ quaking doesn’t even begin to describe what was happening in my body.
Honestly, I didn’t feel I could pull anything off at all. I’d made peace with my paint before I left Australia. By that I mean, I knew it was crap but I didn’t have that same type of energy I had in Melbourne. Paint day dawned and I was like, let’s just get this fucking shit over with!
(For those noobs out there, at The Worlds, you get 6 and 1/2 hours to paint an entire body with an assistant for the first three. Different rules for different categories. I was in the World Award brush and sponge. You have to paint to a theme and your score is marked on interpretation, ability etc).
So we get to the festival and it took me awhile to find out where I was meant to set up. (Chook’s headless sister!). I couldn’t help feeling crushed because I was put in a tent out the back of fucking beyond with no one else around me and none of the, you know, actual WBF vibe. Anyhow, I had to let that go so I could try and paint, ay?
I’d found a great assistant who was also Aussie (thank you Vanessa!!!), who was allowed to paint for 3 hours except I didn’t really have much for her to paint.
I had no plan.
It was really funny because as I was painting things kept coming through to me:
The judges don’t like black paint; me: can’t stop adding black.
I need a headpiece, also me: I have no fucking headpiece.
I want to paint pearls all over the body, also me: Painted one fucking pearl!!! (Seriously, that was all I painted before I left Australia and I painted one fucking pearl!!!!).
About half way through the paint, I very nearly gave up. I just said to Chook and Ness, “I can’t do this anymore, there’s nothing in me. I’ve got nothing left.”
And I do believe for a good hour or more I didn’t do anything. I had this major level of exhaustion running through my body, the ups and downs of even making it to Worlds was more than enough to send me to sleep for days.
Anyhow, the girls were fantastic, they helped me get to the finish line and I am eternally grateful for that.
Then we had to go and present to the judges. And it’s the Reckoning right, of a body painter, with me standing in front of Jinny and Craig Tracy and Johannes Stotter and Ernst Wieser and others (sorry mind blanks there).
What a laugh that was.
Except not at the time.
At the time it was a disjointed, insecure mess of a presentation with me completely breaking down after it. The thing I’m most disappointed about was that I was trying to share this amazing story about the Indigenous Australians who were sold as slaves and forced to dive for pearls up around Broome. My paint looked nothing like I had prepared for in Australia. I had Chook hold some pearls and a little packet of blood that was going to burst over the pearls whilst I presented. Craig is all like, “Oh, we’re going to have a bit of a show are we?” In my head I’m like, “Yeah, a shit show.” (Hahahahaha!!!! I hope you’re all laughing along with me now. )
And now it meant that I was:
Done, Thank u, Next!
And now: To the stage, the stage!
As an aside, I honestly think it is harder to do something you know isn’t going to be very good and DOING IT ANYHOW, compared to trying really hard to do your very best and knowing you gave it your all. Although maybe not harder, just a different type of hard.
Working with mindset really does fascinate me because I walked in there very unprepared and knowing/believing that my paint was going to be shit compared to walking into the Melbourne ABAA with a whole strategy, a plan, a timeline of the 6 hours, prepared to the Nth degree with a headpiece, a story and strength, you know. I had strength there, that I didn’t have when I went overseas and I’m grateful for my entire experience because I just downloaded this massive library of knowledge and strength for my mind, you know? I’m not saying I ever felt like I was going to be in with a chance at the Worlds, just that preparation coupled with self belief is success in itself.