I learned that if I am not open to change, change will not occur. I’ve learned that if I am not continually seeking out things that nourish MY soul, my soul will go un-nourished. I have also learned that if I want to make a mark in the world, no matter how small, I must be transparent. I spent years not being transparent, even to myself and that really didn’t get me anywhere, except for a place that looked and felt like a really dark hole of nothingness. People may not like the things that you choose to show them, they may wince at your honesty and may even get offended, but you’re doing something wrong if everyone likes you.

Do you remember those black pieces of paper that had the plastic pens that if you drew on the paper the black disappeared and different colors showed up underneath? My in-depth Google research has unveiled that the proper term for said black/color paper awesomeness is: a Scratch Drawing.  Still nothing? Here:

I hope this magic rainbow hamster never leaves the sight of your frontal lobe.

I hope this magic rainbow hamster never leaves the sight of your frontal lobe.

And that’s what I want to talk about. No, not magical hamsters….transparency. Transparency happens when you no longer fear the judgement of the world and accept yourself as you are. The guilt from past mistakes and regrets slough off, a sense of gratitude and thankfulness just to be alive energizes you and somehow it feels wrong to cover up or tone down the very things that make you, you. This comes with experiencing what it feels like not to feel any of those things and then realizing that you really suck as a person and don’t want to suck any more.

At some point, you find your penny, or straw or gross fingernail,whatever it is you want to use to start scratching off that black film, and you start to be transparent with the world. Good and Bad. Mistakes and Triumphs. Embarrassing moments and Stupid Facebook posts. And the kicker is, even though you were so afraid of the world or someone else seeing you in a bad light or you risking them not liking what they see, the reverse happens whether they like it or not. The picture we all see starts to take shape. The world starts to appreciate you because you are now a little more human than you were before that first scratch. Sure, there’s gonna be people that are all over there like “Yuck, that looks like a cobra.” and you’re all over there like, “Actually it’s a balloon animal of a ferret, thanks dick.”

But most people, the people that actually matter, are going to revel in your realness, vulnerability and willingness to let it all hang out. Because truth of the matter, we relate on the deepest of levels with others who share our fears, sorrows and dark, dark places. That’s what makes the really brightest of places so fucking awesome to be in with another person.

The thing is everyone has their own piece of black paper. What’s underneath is solely up to them to figure out and navigate scratching it off and the pace in which you go doesn’t matter. Some spend their whole lives with tiny little nicks in the paper, others, they start scratching that stuff off like people that use scratch off tickets to pay their electric bill. However slow or fast you want to go, do it. But you can’t start making your mark on the world, until you make your mark on yourself.

PS, my black paper has a picture of a big-booty unicorn drinking a 40. What does yours look like?