Thursday, December 30, 2010

I can have anything I want. And so can you!


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!


Unknown said...

Biffy, I asked you a question in an older blog I was searching but I don't remember which one and now I can't find it to read answer so I hope you don't mind me asking here.

I know that you've tested most every "moleskine like" hardbound sketchbook and I would like to know your current favorite. I will be using a Safari EF w/ noodlers bulletproof or maybe experimenting w/ Csrbon Black. Sometimes I will be finishing w/ water colors.

molly z. said...

H.B. one day early ! ! ! !
thanks for sharing your inspiration. I just spent a sleepless nite and am at a similar place (althou 20 yrs older) and I feel there is something big just around the corner. LET'S GET OUT OF OUR OWN WAY and make it happen with the help of good friends.
I'm with you - - - fellow traveller Molly

hap said...

Sometimes the hobbles we put on our own lives are the biggest and hardest to take off. I'm 61 and I still don't know what I wanna be when I grow up either! (grin). Life IS about the journey, and wherever it takes you, it's going to give you choices, options, and consequences. Some are overwhelmed by the choices, some are intimidated by the consequences...and some are oblivious to the journey! Each day we get a chance to journey in the right direction (as if we could always recognize THAT!!) and grow as a functional human being. If you're lucky (and you make your own luck here) you're surrounded by the types of friends and family that you mentioned. So I'd say you're well on your way to making your journey one hell of a ride! Keep it up, never stop dreaming and may you always find the end of the rainbow is at your feet!

Stacy said...

Beautiful post! I have been going through some similar things for the last few years. Trying to discover what I'm here to do, wanting to be financially free, and having a complete blast doing it. I too struggle with that dirty "deserve" word. I know we all deserve to have what we want in life but it is definitely part of my growing edge work. My favorite wealth coach is Nan Askasha I tell everyone about her. She has free podcasts on LOA radio network but you can download them anytime. She has meditations at the end of many of them and I listen to them all the time. Lots of great ones on feelings of deserving and releasing blocks. She also talks a lot about money being a neutral energy and that we don't need to assign it a "good" or "bad" label. Check it out if you have the time. She's really helped me.

Brigitte said...

Beautifully written, Stephanie. Thank you for posting this. My warmest wishes go to you for the New Year, may you dream a lot, and then find how to make your dreams come true.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Ed - I know you aren't asking me about the ink, but I feel I need to say something. I've had problems with Noodler's BP Black & Sailor's Nano Black transferring from page to page. It's too pigmented & there always seems to be ink particles that don't dry on the paper itself and so when you wash, you get a lot of black smudges - though I know that some people are looking for that kind of effect. I have not tried Carbon Black but I understand it to be similar to the Nano Black. (I do have a review on the Nano if you click my ink reviews link above.) Noodler's BP ink is formulated that you can use it on any kind of paper - high or low quality. If you wish to start adding colors, then you will want to ensure you are using a paper that is resistant to the FP ink - ALTHOUGH, an ink resistant paper also means that you will have issues doing washes over it. If you seriously want to be creating art in this way, I wouldn't so much recommend a journal as I would a sketchbook - like one of the 5x8 Canson Universal sketch pads - which will take the wash better. If you really want a journal..... I'm not sure what ot say, because I'm not really using it the same way you are. Moleskine paper is too thin for washes (I think) and I really don't care for the paper in their sketch books. Rhodia Webnotebooks have excellent paper but I can't say how they will react to the washes so much. Another option for you might be the Pentalic Ala Modeskine journals - they are cheap, the paper good - but my book kind of fell apart in the end..... Check through my old reviews - perhaps you will find something that catches your eye.

Umar said...

Great post. You may also like this related post:
Creating 2011 with Imagination, a Forgotten Tool
Imagination more than analysis helps you envision your professional self.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Thank you Molly! Happy New Year to you and Cheers!

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Hap, {{{Hugs}}} Thanks for your words of encouragement and thank you for reading my blog. Happy New Year!

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Hi Stacy - I wish you the best in the New Year with finding your bliss. :o) Thank you for sharing!

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Brigitte - Kind thanks to you. :o) May your dreams come true as well.

Speck said...

I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up either, so I got a degree in accounting because that was the only profession I could see that would make me a decent living. I got bored with that fairly quickly, even before I graduated. As I was trying to find a new direction in life a very wise soul asked me, "What did you play (at) when you were little? Were you Julia Child cooking? A ballerina dancing? A professional wrestler grunting?"

I didn't have to think about that for a minute. I played at being a mailman and a detective...a LOT. I thought those were the coolest professions *ever* when I was a kid. Yes, I'm a little weird. So I became a mailman and a detective. They *were* the coolest professions ever. Accounting is so boring.

So, what did *you* play at as a kid? Hummm????

On tiny houses:
Hubby and I downsized from a combined 2,700 sq ft to 850 sq ft. We were grousing about Living Tiny to a friend who lived in a large house with several kids. He said, "You have more space per capita than I do."

Katie said...

Hi Stephanie,
That post was very inspiring, thank you! I'm struggling with some of the same issues at the moment - reaching out for what I need and want.
Happy Birthday!
xx Katie.

AtomicLeo said...

I've followed your blog and posts on FPN for over a year. I know what you mean when you write about the 'possibility' of a job that means more than just survival. I come from a similar background. Worked my way through school and achieved a PhD after 12 years of wandering through a couple of colleges and majors. I have a great job. Good money, working with great people on research projects, but it isn't what I really want to do. I spent so much time focusing on making a living I forgot that I needed to make a life. Now I'm 41 years old and I do know what I want to be when I grow up: a writer. I discovered fountain pens 3 years ago. Still searching for that perfect pen+ink+paper combination. The only writing I have time for is nightly journal entries. The pleasure of writing with a fountain pen motivates me to keep it up. I will never write the great American novel, but for 20-30 minutes a night I am a writer. I wanted to leave this note to let you know, that even if you had finished school and gone to college, there is no guarantee that you would have found what you wanted to do for the rest of your life and maybe that path would not have allowed you the freedom to do what you are doing today. I also wanted to say thank you for all your journal and ink reviews. They have guided in my journey for that prefect writing experience of pen,paper and ink.

Happy New Year!

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Speck - Hmmm.... what did I want to be as a child? (Besides dating Da Do Ron Ron Shaun Cassidy?) Well, I can remember owning a "Mobile Crime Lab" and loving to be the school librarian's helper... I wanted to assist the school nurse with first aid, and also be a psychiatrist.


Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Umar - much thanks for the link!

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Katie, I'm glad you found some inspiration in my words and I wish you a clearer vision of the life you wish to lead. Much love to you - S.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

Atomic Leo -

Thank you so much for taking the time to write and for your kind words of encouragement. I am very happy that you discovered your love for writing and that you find 30 minutes a day to do it. Some people know what they want but don't try and make time for it in their lives - so kudos to you for that. I am also glad that you have found my reviews helpful. I absolutely understand how much easier it can be to do what you love when you have tools that you love to use. Have a happy new year, and thank you again!

Anonymous said...

WORD! The gumption thing totally describes me right now. I appreciate this so much. I'm at that point where I want to branch away from where I am and not going to a job that has a sick environment just to pay the bills. Thanks a bundle for this perspective. I find it so refreshing.

HTB said...

What a great post. In many ways inspiring and gave me some food for thought.

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