Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wasted Time?

I find myself often beating myself up for years 'wasted' on frivolity, unproductive years, lost focus when I was young (well, I'm not exactly 'old' now!). I wish I'd trusted in myself when I was young and followed the path of things I loved...but I didn't...maybe. I look back to when I was 9 or 10 and remember a time when decorating my room to define 'me' was so important. I woke up one day and looked around and knew I had work to do. The next couple of years was spent lining my walls with pics from Tiger Beat type of Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson, Rick Springfield to name just a few. I engulfed myself in music, new and old (my mom has a fabulous collection of 33 records in this great red record box) and spent hours writing down lyrics in a small notebook.

Then comes high school...focus on boys and friends...lost time when I could have been creating. I didn't know I could actually do it! I learned to cross stitch when I was 16 and LOVED it! I wrote poetry for myself. But again, my life carried me along with friends, boys, and the expectations of those around me. Never the focus on 'who am I?' Then college where I excelled, but again, focus on what others expected of me. Loved the idea of the design school but 'I could never do that'. I even spent my last year of college trying out architecture. I loved everything about it, but I couldn't visualize to draw in shadows given the angle of the sun in drafting class. My teacher believed I could learn it, but I gave up as it didn't come easy like everything else I had done.

My mother was a fabulous artist! She gave it up very young though after her parents told her she was wasting her time...children are so impressionable. It's sad because she was good...very good. I display much of her artwork in my home now. When I was quite young I'd copy her drawings to the best of my ability for hours on end. I didn't believe I could create my own artwork...only copy...i didn't even try.

Now I'm 45 and have been quilting for years. I tell people I'm no artist...I only copy what I see from the work of others. I may put it together in unique ways, but still I'm copying. Or am I? I'm fighting the realization that my life is half over and 'look at what I could have done if I'd believed in myself'. I continually tell myself that I still can do it all!! The years past had their place and I did accomplish a great deal...I can support myself with my degree if I ever need to again (vital for all women to remain independent!) All those years 'wasted' made me who I am now and brought me back to who I believe I'm supposed to be ARTIST!! I may copy others ideas, but how I incorporate it is unique. There are so many ideas of things I think I can do if I focus and it's not too late to do exactly that. I'm writing this down to help convince myself it's true...mortality bears down on me, but I most likely have another 45 years to do this great thing!! I guess if I'd done it all then, I wouldn't have this exciting time at 45 to do it now. Must believe in myself...I am becoming an artist...I can claim that title proudly. I'm trying to do just that and quiet that voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough to be called that. I have work to do, but every day I get a little closer to being the me that has always been inside. Nothing I have ever done to please those around me has made them love me more or appreciate me more...I've spent my life trying to be what I think they want from me. This second half of life will be spent being what I want me to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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