Since becoming a Mumma and the family breadwinner, I've been forced to get really clear on what my priorities are, simply because I don't have time to fluff around anymore. Any time I do get for myself these days, I'm present and making it count, because I've got to juggle my Work, Art, Teaching and much-needed Rest-time with the demands and blessings of Motherhood. Every moment is a risk, because doing one means I'm missing out on the other.
This incredibly busy and challenging lifestyle has forced me to let go of regrets, if I want to stay sane. I've learned that it's not healthy to feel guilty for what I'm not doing. Or in better words,
I now back myself with what I AM doing.
If I'm working, I'm working, and I know my son is well cared for. If I'm with my son, I'm with my son, and my artwork inspiration can wait a few minutes. If I'm resting, I'm resting, because God knows, it's short-lived. If I worry about irregular income, I let it go because we’ve chosen to live this way rather than working a ‘real’ job.
I’ve dug my own grave and being that close to death every day makes me love Living.
These limitations and gifts have funnelled my intentions into a place where there's no room for regret, except in one area: I regret not backing myself this way, sooner.
Over the last 17 years I have grown to understand and finally forgive my parents for steering me away from my art and into teaching when I left school. They’ve since come around, because they see me so happy.
But even with all the trials, insecurities and financial instability my more recent years as a full-time artist has brought, I still feel rich, every day.
Because in the risk and security I’ve found something:
I find out who I really am, every day.
I now OWN that being a nurturer of creativity is who I was put on this planet to be. I feel it with every fibre of my being. I feel it so strongly, that sometimes it hurts, even when it's not about me.
- I feel pain when I hear a person say they can't draw a stick figure, because I know they actually believe it about themselves.
- I feel pain when I see a little child get into trouble for something so innocent, when they were only living life from their hearts.
- I feel pain when I talk to people who want to paint, study, travel or try a new career, but are too afraid to change or try.
- I feel pain when people desperately want to attend my art classes, but they don't give themselves this gift.
- I feel pain when I see teens pick all the hard subjects at school to get a 'good' exit score, when they'd secretly just love to travel and be an artist or musician.
- I feel pain when I see people trying so hard to be who they think others want them to be.
I feel these pains, because I’ve felt them too and I know ...
It hurts to stand tall, with no backbone.
Maybe I would've studied art straight after school if my parents supported. Maybe I would've loved it and maybe I could've started my career as an artist a few years sooner. But then maybe I wouldn’t be the empathetic teacher I am today - or a teacher at all. And maybe, I’d have no backbone and still follow the status quo, because I didn’t have to fight for what I believed could be true for me.
Maybe, our trials really are what make us get clear on our path.
Today, I know my parents did the best thing they could have ever done for me; by sending me on a path that would lead away from myself, enabling me to feel the amazingness of the journey back home.
My husband losing his job this year; my nephew passing away last year; my post-natal depression; the strain of emerging as an artist; the struggle of making-ends-meet on an entrepreneur’s budget; all these things have made my self-belief stronger, because I've come through the trials with courage, when the path wasn’t clear.
Through my trials and regrets, here’s what I now know:
The negatives are the gifts we grow from and bring back to share with the world.
I’m on the journey back home and committed to surrounding myself with people with the courage to try it. I hope you can join me.
Love C x