Small steps, I continue to take them. Varied and random, I’m looking at the scope of my days through an entirely new lens. While I still harbor large dreams my focus of late is simply observing the patterns I’ve created, while at the same time allowing soft, subtle changes to roll in.
I’ve long lamented about my perfectionist/workaholic tendencies. I realize that they’ve caused me more frustration than support. I was brought up to work hard, push limits and accomplish goals. For a long time, I held the belief that “nothing comes easy” and “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. Hard work pays off. Make it happen and don’t count on anything. That served me well enough until about three years ago. I can’t pin point the exact moment that I realized I was completely miserable. For all the hard work I put in, seldom did I allow myself to relax and enjoy any rewards or benefits. Truly, that’s not a way to operate but that's what I knew.
As I’ve begun the initiative of taking small steps toward change, I’ve noticed that some of my personal instincts are in direct contrast to what I wish to experience. The observations have been many, though I’m still not taking gigantic jumps forward. I feel the power but for the time being I am more focused on being aware of how I operate. I tend to gather, collect, ponder, contemplate and have a lot of plans in my mind. I often don’t muster the energy to actually DO anything, other than what HAS to be done. It’s funny isn’t it? I think I’m a hard worker and that I do a lot but really, I don’t! I do more thinking than anything and therein lies my personal challenge.
For example, I will study a subject, gather information and ideas, collect like crazy and then I stall out. I do not actually move forward. Here's an example: I still have an on-line art class to complete but I have all the materials ready to go. I have a plethora of books on the subject but not one piece of art to show for my gathering. I put it off, "I'm too busy, not in the mood, too tired, I don't want to make a mess and only have five minutes to work on it, not worth the clean up time......" You can then imagine my surprise and realization when I returned home to find that my very neat, tidy studio had been ransacked! The picture above gives evidence that a little artist helped herself to my stash! She jumped in and did what I've been wanting to do, helping herself to all supplies within her reach (and tonight she showed me how she was able to get the ones that were not, via bar stool). She’s a brave one. Without assistance she followed her artistic muse and produced above masterpieces showcasing tracks, tape and snowflakes, (note the image of a Furby and a pilgrim hat!)
One could easily look upon this as a child’s way to pass time on a Sunday afternoon, though I choose to see it as much more than this. She schools me, she inspires me to take that next step, uninhibited by petty fears and sneaky resistance. With her example, change is FUN, easy, playful and most of all natural. Applied to my intentions, this would look like writing to my heart’s content, submitting articles to my favorite publications, using those acrylics and paper scraps and simply allowing myself a creative outlet. This would be where I find the rhythm to invest my focus and forget what it looks like to anyone on the outside of my body/being. This is the space that I’ve been wanting to jump into for a very long time. Oh sure, I can hide behind the excuse of being too tired, too busy, too uninspired, to sapped to actually do anything or………I can just throw caution to the wind, pour and smear the paint, throw on the tape, make a mess of the craft room and “play”. My daughter is showing me how because I’ve forgotten. Someday, when she’s older, perhaps she will fully understand the impact she’s having on my life. Her passion is infectious, her creativity boundless, her confidence impressive. I want to be like that. It’s not too late.
I have a portable set of water colors and a moleskin journal. I’ve collected tons of images and ideas. My next step is to fill the pen with water and put color to the page. It’s silly that I’m this resistant. One day I’ll likely chuckle about how far and long I’ve carried these items around and not ACTUALLY even used them! I’m not expecting to create a masterpiece, I feel that I’m living in one.
My next step is to use those water colors. Who knows, perhaps I am the artist I've always wanted to be. If not, I'll sure have fun finding out I'm something else.