whim·si·cal – an Unexpected Surprise

The assignment to draw a symbol of my second grade art girl didn’t feel like a good fit at first.

I loved the fact that the lesson was about embracing the part of you that wasn’t jaded by criticism and damaged by doubt, but I got tripped up on the word “whimsical” – which to me meant cutesy, girly, flowery, and well, not me.

I couldn’t see any way that I would be able to draw a ‘whimsical’ second grade dress based on my definition of the word.

Because I’m a perfectionist, I couldn’t just skip the lesson and I created my first version of the dress. I love it. It follows the guidelines, but is completely, completely mine. And not in the least bit whimsical – or so I thought.

My youngest son challenged my definition and whether or not the word might not describe me in at least some small way. He did so very cleverly, as he tends to do.

I looked it up and as it turns out, it’s not nearly as far off as I imagined, in fact there are parts of it that might even be spot on.

The Google definition:


playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way.
“a whimsical sense of humor”synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, quizzical, curious, droll, fantastical, Seussian; eccentric, quirky, idiosyncratic, unconventional, outlandish, queer, fey; informal offbeat, freaky
“a whimsical sense of humor”

Huh – in many ways that describes both me and my style when it comes to drawing. (I’m not going to reveal which adjectives I think apply to me)

I was actually pretty nervous to share the drawing with the other women who are taking the class. I was afraid they wouldn’t like it because my approach is a bit different.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

A few recent life’s lessons were reconfirmed.

People see us through a lens that is not filtered with self-doubt and full of limits. They see us in our full potential and sometimes even think of us in ways we’d never considered. And last, but certainly not least – the people who matter, accept us because of how we are different, not in spite of it.

There will be two versions of my second grade dress doodle, not because I didn’t like the first version – but because I did.

i am me - Doodle Art Dress

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