I didn’t really know how to title this because this post is about a LOT of things but mainly women and how we strive to do everything possible to keep others happy…sometimes at the expense of our own happiness.
I recently finished a workshop at Art Demos. While most of the students had little to say either good or bad, one woman took the opportunity to thoughtfully criticize/critique the class based on her past experience with online workshops. While it was thoughtfully done and in no way cruel or mean spirited, it brought me up short. This time I’d thought I’d ‘nailed’ that video. How could I have been so wrong? And am I really wrong or just wrong in this person’s eyes? And what is ‘wrong’ anyway…a difference of opinion really on how someone does something compared to how you do or would have done it. While delivered in a kind and careful manner, this email made me cringe. At 64, with a stroke disabled husband to contend with, I’m not sure that putting myself ‘out there’ is something I want to keep on my bucket list.
My son purchased the domain name back in 1999; a gift to me on HIS 23rd birthday because he knew I wanted to ‘get off the road’ and teach. After all I had been an Art Education major in college, I had just lost my Dad and I was tired of dragging carloads of arts & crafts from state to state. In 1999 though, the technology didn’t match up to the dream so I shelved it and spent the next 12 years dealing with cancer, bankruptcy and other family members dreams and disappointments. Then in September of 2012 I dusted off my son’s hopes for Art Demos and set about making it a reality. I blogged, facebooked, pinterested, tweeted, linkedined, and emailed about it for months and then set about teaching what I knew. The dream finally became the reality. In all of the frenzy of bringing it to life, however, I failed to consider whether or not this was MY reality, MY dream, MY future. Why? Because we as woman are by our very nature, nurturers. We go ‘to the wall’ for those we love. And we do so without question, often at the expense of our own health; both mental and physical.
So here I sit at a computer blogging about my latest crisis and trying desperately to figure out what I’m going to do about it. Do I continue on this path knowingly leaving myself vulnerable to future critiques; albeit well intentioned ones? And why is it so important to me anyhow what people think of me? Shouldn’t I have become self-actualized by this age? Or will I never fulfill my own inner needs because I was taught early on to see myself as the least important part of any equation?
For weeks, maybe even months, there has been an inner whisper. A longing to pick up my cameras again. To get back behind the lens and capture moments that no one else will ever see in quite the same way. I want to lean into these desires; to embrace them fully and completely. But the practical self, the one who knows the extent of our frangible financial state wants me to ‘man up’ and just do it. To not think about the dreams that are teetering at the edge of consciousness because those dreams are impractical and a poor investment in a sound financial future. So here I sit; mentally going round and round in ever widening circles of indecision. Nothing will be decided today or perhaps even this month. But soon…very, very soon I am going to have to take the reigns of my own destiny. But for the moment I’m allowing myself the luxury of creative play and creating something special for Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds.
For those who may be curious, this is the process of creation for the photo above.
- 2 original photos (roses & cloudy sky)
- kk_deardreamer – normal 100%
- kk_gratitudescratched – soft light 100%
- kk_2801 – soft light – 100%
- kk_autumn – overlay -56%
- text: Lindsay Supercalligraphix manipulated by transform tool in CS6 to fit
- Light grunge brush set to eraser at normal – 76%