Tuesday, March 18, 2014

5 Life Lessons Learned from Flying Standby by Jan Avellana

My dear friend, the extremely talented artist Jan Avellana lives in Hawaii and has the opportunity to travel here to the frozen tundra - better known as Chicago- for a visit on a shoe string budget this week. 

Being on a shoe string budget means that you have a friend who works for the airline who offers you a buddy pass. Score! But the downside is that you have to show up at the airport and wait on Standby for a flight to open up. Tonight will be Jan's fourth and final attempt to get on a plane to spend at least part of her Spring break with me. If she doesn't get a seat we will postpone our visit until summer when the weather may be a little more familiar to my island friend. 

Here we are comparing our Spring wardrobes. I don't think I need to tell you who is who.
Spending all that time on standby at the airport has taught Jan a thing or two about life, which she shared on her Facebook wall and I've stolen to share with you here. Give her advice a read and check out her bio at the bottom and then leave her an encouraging comment. She could use one right about now! 

Jan Avellana's art on the cover of Surface Pattern Magazine!
1. Persistence is key. If you pursue a dream long enough, at some point you are likely to feel desperate and ridiculous for wanting and for having the audacity to try. That can't be the reason for quitting. Get over the fear and self consciousness of looking like an idiot and remember your "WHY". Only stop if your why no longer matters to you--never mind what other people think. Is your life--inhabit it fully!

2. To desire is risky. It's pretty hard to want something without someone finding out. And the more you put yourself out there, the more potential embarrassment you invite upon yourself if that thing you are reaching for doesn't come into your grasp. Nurture that desire anyhow--fan that flame!

3. Show up and hope for the best! Do what you can, all that you can, and show up. Showing up is half the battle--lots of people think about doing stuff, but few people actually show up ready to go all the way. Be that person.

Jan Avellana's Mixed Media Girls
4. Enjoy the process. While you're waiting for your airplane/ship/lottery ticket to come in, make lots of friends, eat some yummy food, read or write some great books and stay humble, stay grateful, stay gracious. Let the experience deepen your empathy for others. Let the process help you become a better human being--more patient, more hopeful, able to dream bigger and more audacious dreams. Think of the process as practice, a dress rehearsal if you will. Because life is unpredictable, and you might never get past waiting at the gate, so make it good for everybody, including yourself!

5. Sometimes the answer is "No". But sometimes it's "Yes". And you won't know unless you try. So try. And then, try again.

Look for me: I'll be there, standing by at the gate!

Jan's Bio: 
I am a mixed-media and digital artist with a passion for art, books, deep conversations, and seaside adventures with my three favorite men (ages 6, 8 and 43). With both a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design and a Master’s of Education in Teaching, I spent the better part of my adult life trying very hard to be a grown-up with a traditional job. After the birth of my two sons, my newfound-mama-love released me to follow my heart, reclaiming the artist that I have always been. Today, I revel in mixed media messes, making heartfelt connections with others through art and words.​
Kickstarter Project: Here
Website: Here
Blog: Here
Jan Avellana's amazing art on a promo poster for her Kickstarter Project


  1. Sage advice for all of us. Thanks Jan and Crystal!

    1. I couldn't agree more Seth! Thanks for spending time here today!

  2. What a lovely post Crystal! I am such a fan of your beautiful, amazing and unique work. Keep going your doing SO great. And I am as much a fan of Jan's lovely whimsical art too. We were in MATS together and it was exciting to see her style emerge. Thank you for sharing this. Not as much time to check out blogs as I use to.... really miss it. Happy Spring! xoxo Valerie

    1. Valerie thank-you for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. I really appreciate it!

  3. What good words of wisdom, and what a run friend! Love her whimsical art!