Last year, I started attending pottery classes. It had been on my to-do list for a few years, but multiple obstacles – time, adulting, and a lack of a suitable class location – got in the way. Over the past few years, I made strides toward overcoming these challenges and achieving a better work-life balance, and finally, the missing piece fell into place when a studio opened up close by. Big up to MUD Clay Studios, I started taking classes the moment it opened and I’ve been hooked ever since!
I’m going to be very honest, I am not a great potter (yet)… some days I am a good potter, other days I am a crap potter, and occasionally I feel like I created a f’ing masterpiece. I remind myself regularly: I'm not here to be perfect; I'm here to be present, to play, create, and connect with the joy of it. It’s a mantra I preach and know I need to embrace for myself.
Seriously though, not being good at something has been one of the best gifts I have given myself.
So after a few months of learning and getting familiar with the basics of throwing, I started to challenge myself with harder projects. I made a lidded pot that I absolutely loved. I was going to give it to my friend as a gift and was so excited to show them. I put it in a box with a few other pieces I made and took them from the studio to my house. On the car ride home I heard a crack. One of the other pieces fell over and landed on the one I loved. I was so upset… not just for the accident but for my failure to protect my creations adequately. I no longer could gift this flawed piece to my friend.
When I got home, I told my partner what had happened and showed them the piece. Their response was not expected. They looked at it and said it's beautiful, a little fucked up just like us. I was taken aback… it made me think about how much a small chip changed my perception of the piece. A few days later my friend stopped by and I told them the story of the pot. When my friend heard the story, they still wanted it, chip and all! Embracing its imperfection, they found beauty in the flaw, a sentiment reminiscent of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold to create a stronger, more beautiful piece. This pot helped me practice embracing not only the flaws in my pot but also the flaws I perceive in myself.
Other lessons I’ve learned from pottery:
So this post was supposed to be an introduction to my new Blog which I am calling "A Little F’ed Up, Just Like Us” but my ADHD brain used a pottery tangent to introduce major ideas and practices that I am thinking a lot about right now. Nevertheless, I think it all comes back together, even if I took you the long way around. Welcome to my brain. I have been working on loving the parts of me I don’t always like, accepting my awkward uniqueness, and showing my sometimes hypercritical brain some compassion. However, I think it's very important to clarify, that these tendencies are not being used as excuses to not show up, or push through hard things. In fact, they do the opposite for me. They push me to be the best version of myself and hold myself responsible for living with intention and accountability.
I have always seen the beauty in others' awkwardness. I have always been attracted to weirdos and free spirits. Those are my people. Now I challenge myself to see the same beauty within my own mind, and will support the people around me to do the same.
My intention in creating this blog is just that: to invite you to join me in embracing your whole self, exploring and getting curious about the why's and what’s, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, and showing the F**K up!
I'm Stasia Romano, and I am a psychotherapist and the founder of Mandala Wellness. I am probably not that different from you, just a human trying to live their best life, trying to show up and kick ass and be a positive light in the world. You know just your typical awkward, neurodiverse magic conjuring physiotherapist. I help adults figure this adulting shit out so they can let go of all the people pleasing, perfectionism and anxiety of trying to make it all look easy, cause it's not. If this is something you could use some help on, hit me up. I'd love to work with you.