There's been an idea I've been playing with for a little while. If you stop here by my blog often, you've no doubt seen it emerge. It's that idea that I may be artistic.
Shhh....I don't want to say it too loud, but I'm not sure why.
I've been caught up with self doubt about my "art" for many years. It's just a hobby, it's just a craft, I'd say to people who gave me encouragement....then I'd go back to painting, or making jewelry, or scrapbooking. Lately, though, with the encouragement of some wonderful ladies, I've begun to believe in myself....just a bit. I still struggle with the doubt that what I'm doing will mean anything to anyone other than me. But then, someone will say something. Someone else will "get" what I was doing. Someone might even say ,"Wow". (Thanks, Mom), and my heart soars.
I feel firmly that I would keep doing what I'm doing without that extra boost, but I really like to hear those nice comments. See, back when I was singing in high school and college, when someone would complement me on my voice, I thank them kindly and quickly tell myself "they are only saying that to be nice". At the advanced age of 39, I am finding that had I believed what they were saying, my life may have taken a much different turn. While I wouldn't change what I have for anything now, I'm ready to accept the nice words and enjoy them for a while, rather than let that inner critic who silenced my singing voice get the chance to squash my dreams again.
No, I may never make a living as an artist. That's not what it's about for me. Though I would LOVE to be creative all day, my kids need a roof to live under and food to eat. It's about having the chance to explore, freely, what makes me really happy. I feel a little bolder when someone else likes something about me that I like about myself....does that sound selfish? Maybe a little...but the little girl who loved to sing and paint and play the piano and make things should like herself again, shouldn't she? Even if she's 39 now.
So, I've gotten this book, The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole and joined this group.....maybe I'll meet someone along the way who is like me and needs to feel that what she's doing is meaningful even if she is the only one it means something to. I've been slowly visiting the blogs of some other Artistic Mothers, and I leave a little genuine encouragement for them, especially when a post has the air of despair and the inner critic in them starts to take over their writing, and I ask that you leave a little comment if you happen to stop by and visit me. See, it means a lot more than you may realize.
All right. I think this is the longest post I've ever written! I suppose I could have summed this up in one phrase and saved you the time it took you to read this:
Never, Never Give Up!