Thursday, December 30, 2010
I grew up in an environment where the people around me worked jobs to survive- and for 24 years, I did the same thing. I never really had a clue that some people chose their professions, or that everyone didn't hate their jobs. I thought it was completely normal to come home and be irritable after a day's work.
Throughout my formative years, it never occurred to me that some people knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up and that they would do everything within their power to achieve that goal. I've even come to learn that some people had/have support and encouragement to achieve those goals, while others simply rely on their own gumption to pull it off.
I quit high school and started working full-time when I was 16 and after starting in the work force, college wasn't an option - certainly not while earning $3.50 an hour back in the mid-80's, and so I just went along with the current. Always just being grateful with what I had, but never asking for more...... Never knowing I could have more.
But those days are over now. It was two years this November that I walked away from the work force to create my life of my own design. But ironically, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I have created a sustainable existence by doing the things I love- art, writing, teaching & music, but I feel like there is something more for me... something bigger that's just waiting for me to discover it and it frustrates the beans out of me that I don't know what it is.
When allowing yourself to live a life created by what scraps are handed to you, it's really difficult to see or believe that there can be more. It become as though you are not even aware of the possibilities. So how do you find out? You have to push up against that wall.of complacency. You ask questions, and investigate the possibilities. YOU OPEN YOUR EYES. You look at people you admire and ask them how they did it. You read books & magazines and you finally say, "I want THAT!" and then you have a goal - which in some cases, still might a lifetime to achieve - but you will at least know what you want, and as they say, life is about the journey... right?
My house is a great example of that. I have been living in the same 750 square foot house with my husband for the last 20 years. I have no closet space, no pantry, no real kitchen table to eat at, (we eat in the living room) and no specific place to write or create art. (I mostly create art while sitting in maybe a 5ft square space on my living room floor.) Why don't I have a bigger house? Don't I want a bigger house? Yes. Absolutely. But I can't see a path to make it work. When I start to think about how to get from here to there I begin to feel overwhelmed with choices, with possibilities, that I usually just end up abandoning my goals and telling myself to just be grateful for what I have. That I have to just take care of what I do have and that maybe because of my lack of direction, that I just don't deserve any thing more.
Wow.... what on earth have I done in this world to not deserve the best life I can create for myself? Where did that kind of thinking come from?
And so it goes. I start to want something and then I self sabotage. I get in my own way over & over again.
But if you look at the overall picture, I have made progress, especially in just the last few years. I allowed myself to become open to possibility and I've found this amazing group of friends that love me & encourage me and who not only don't laugh at my ideas, they support them and suggest options on how I can achieve them. Like when I told my friend Mikey D. that I wanted to project my artwork onto the sides of buildings for people to enjoy, he didn't judge me or say "that's stupid" he instead started to present me with options on writing a grant to receive the funds I'd need to make that happen.
I suppose that in the end, what's most important is simply that willingness to be open. To know that YOUR world is open to infinite possibility and that you can have any aspect of that if you so choose. Sometimes I feel like a mouse who has lived in a cage for 41 years and now that I've opened the door to the cage I get afraid to venture past the front entrance.
But I will figure it out, that's for sure... Because I am an amazing human being and I am destined for greatness. And SO ARE YOU!