Oh dear…why do we do this to ourselves?
Twenty-five days ago I had a 31-day deadline and here I am staring at 6 days to write the thing. I’ve had stuff going on, for sure. I’m moving house and I have a bit of a lower-back injury that had required attention and appointments (actually it required relaxation and light stretching, not Shiatsu and 90-minute Ashtanga classes…whoops!)
I know I’ve got this. I know I can write the article and have been doing a few research-type things for the topic, but why haven’t I written it? Why didn’t I write in the first few days?
I’m being a bit tough on myself because I have done a whole bunch of other stuff over the past twenty-five days. I haven’t been sitting around watching Netflix. But today I am asking myself why I didn’t just write the thing. It’s been rattling around in my conscience for weeks now. I’d like to think it’s marinating and will simply flow when I sit down to write it. Who knows, maybe this will happen because this has actually happened to me before. I’m going to go and do my Wheel of Awareness meditation then come back and write it. (This is a fantastic secular meditation that Dr Dan Siegel created.)
Watch this Space…
Okay, I did the seven-minute wheel meditation, which isn’t as brilliant as the 30-minute version, but I’ve already done a 30-minute meditation and journaling this morning so I took the easy route!
This article is for an initiative called 1000 Ripple Effects. I realised during my meditation that my resistance to the project came from the one thing that the organisers and most other writers would find attractive about it; the potential exposure opportunities including interviews and bios on the website. I don’t know if this is a manifestation of childhood adoption stuff, but I fear being ‘exposure’, but like everyone, I really want to be ‘seen’. You feel me?
So here goes…
Your Parents aren’t always right.
“Children are not things to be moulded, but people to be unfolded.” ~ Jess Lair
What do you mean my parents and teachers don’t know everything?
This is probably not news to you, but it came as a huge shock to me. I’ll be honest with you; I only realised this when I became a parent myself. I was doing my best and still felt I was failing on the daily, so it occurred to me that maybe my own parents hadn’t been as confident as they made out!
You are growing up in a different era so you might be amazed to know that only a few decades ago teachers and parents were held up as all-knowing; experts who always knew what was going on and could be relied upon for quality guidance.
Who knew they were only human like the rest of us?
I was a bit of a high-achiever academically but I really wanted to go to art school. Unfortunately, my parents were dead against it. “Be a teacher,” they said. At least then you’ll have something to fall back on. Plus, as mum pointed out, I really didn’t have the talent to make it as an artist…
Yes, my mum actually said those words. I know now she was trying to save me from the hurt and struggle of trying to make it in a very tough industry, but back then, it felt like a huge betrayal.
I had dreams of being a set designer on Broadway, perhaps going into cinematography, then having a sell-out show in London, setting up a studio in Paris…
Big dreams, but they say if your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough.
So, I went to university to study education, planning to become a primary school teacher, with a view to eventually teach high school art…
Maybe…if I was good enough…
Imagine my shock when I became a teacher and discovered that they were just regular people, after all, most of whom certainly did not know all, and had struggles like everyone else.
Believe me, that goes double for parents. (My dad would probably still argue, jokingly, that he does know everything!)
After graduating from university I decided that teaching wasn’t for me after all. I wanted to be the best darn teacher I could be, and my heart just wasn’t in it. I wanted to pursue art but was paralysed by the thought of not being good enough.
I worked in a few retail jobs, then launched my own design business, producing Australian-made souvenirs for the tourist industry. Not exactly glamorous, but definitely artistic. After ten years I went to work for a company that made artwork for interior designers. I loved this job! It was the perfect marriage of art-making, business and interior design, three huge passions I had carried around since childhood. I did this for seven years and at the end of my time there, I was running the company.
I guess you could say that I did actually have the talent to ‘make it’ as an artist, even if I wasn’t the traditional artist working in a studio and holding exhibitions.
I wish I’d known that it was my mums fear talking and not an accurate description of my abilities.
My teaching degree has come in handy now and then, especially when trying to convince my son that I do, in fact, know everything… I do sometimes wonder what I could have achieved if I had followed my heart and my passions rather than taking that detour through a degree I didn’t really enjoy. I’ll never know, of course, but if I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to follow your passion and really believe in it. Then you won’t have to wonder!
If you find yourself still wondering exactly what your passion might be the best thing you can do is follow your curiosity. Do what makes you feel alive and if you don’t know what that is yet, give yourself the time and space to find it. You will be glad you did.
Amazing what we can achieve when we just strap in and get going.