I am always on a journey of discovery as an artist.
Exploring your own art means learning from peers and artists you admire. I was lucky enough to take an intuitive painting workshop on the weekend lead by my good friend and amazing artist Karen McSwan Silsby (go check out her artist Facebook page or ‘dalek_gurl’ on instagram).
It was a fun weekend learning, experimenting and sharing with a great group of artists some just starting out in their journey and some a bit further along the path.
Check out this workshop “Paint as you are” next it is run. You will come out the otherside inspired and full of new enthusiasm to explore your own painting creativity.
So many thoughts, too many demands from every direction. Pulling and pushing.
Too many things happening at once, priorities, everything seems like it must be done now or I will miss the chance to get it right.
Too many opinions but no answers. No clear path to help. Too problems crowding my mind, overwhelming it, making each thought shout to be heard, all seemingly as important as the other.
Do this, try that. Do this now or the opportunity is lost. But this one needs help too. I cannot keep taking more on. I need to do more. It is all too much. So I do nothing.
It feels like nothing even though it is not. It is a constant cycle of seeking, fighting, trying to unravel the complexities of everything thrown in front of me.
Too many at once, I cannot think.
My mind retreats, my body shuts down. I cannot do it any more, the tears flow, the emptiness grows.
Constantly my body betrays me, the cracks appear too often now and the angst seeks its release.
Shortness of breath, racing thoughts that make no sense as they continuously multiply and push the boundaries of my mind.
My body shakes on the inside, shuts down on the out. The barriers go up too late. The cracks are to big to fix myself.
I need to escape, to stop this endless fury in my mind.
I need to be present and in control but I cannot. It is all too much at once.
I cannot find a foothold, a thought to hold onto to pull me back.
So I let go.
I now this is not the answer, but I know how to bring the numbness on.
I let it engulf me.
Slowly, I can feel it start to muffle the chatter, the shakes get less as it takes control.
It is a silent relief to finally feel it happening. I gasp at the peacefulness overtaking my mind.
But I know it is not the way to do it this but I need it now.
Slowly the guilt numb too.
The numbness grows.
It takes over my body first.
The twitches lessen, my breathe slows down and my head slowly sinks into the pillow with a delightful heaviness.
Then the numbness creeps slowly into my head.
The riot of thoughts finally subdue and the chatter stops.
Oh how I needed that to stop.
Finally, I can rest.
Finally I succumb to the numbness.
First Signs of Asperger Syndrome in Young Girls Pre-school.
This is something close to my heart and I wish I had this reference list 10 years ago.
Why is it we so strongly identify ourselves from the perspective of our paid job? Yes, work is takes up the majority of waking hours but it is not what is really important to me. It is not what brings joy in my life.
So why do I let myself be defined by it in one breath, then try to escape from it as it doesn’t feel quite right or complete in the next?
This came up during a discussion with a friend recently about how when working as an accountant, I can be so organised, structured and manage my time and tasks. I can help clients with new software, business plans and business analysis but in regards to my own art designs, I totally baulk at committing to a business plan, costings, time allocation and even valuing my own time?
It is not that I can’t do it but I am finding it so difficult to do a mind-flip and accept that my art is a business and that is OK.
I have kept these two aspects of my life distinctly separate for so long it can’t see a way through.
My friend kept asking me what my fear was. It took a while to really understand what she meant. But it dawned on me that a major fear is leaving behind my identity of being an accountant. When people ask about what I do, I immediately answer I am an accountant. There are a variety of responses, some not very polite, but just saying it means I no longer need to justify my existence to them. I do not need to prove any further that I have some level of intelligence and worth to society. In contrast, if answer that I am a wife and a Mum or mention that I am an artist, I feel the judgement immediately. I feel the need to justify why I am a useful human being.
In chatting with my friend, I noticed how many times my internal conflicts came down to identifying myself and my skills as either an accountant or an artist. Most notably, how I constantly fought any aspect of being an accountant flowing over even the tiniest amount to being an artist. It is like a fear that my work will infect my enjoyment of my art.
This lead me to thinking more about how I see myself. To be honest, self reflection is essential to moving forward but it is a hell of a bumpy ride. Do I really see myself firstly as an accountant? Yes, I went to Uni and have a few sets of letters after my name, I have spent 2 decades in the industry, meeting some really interesting clients and businesses. But is that who I am? Is that what gets me up everyday? To be honest, no. Not now. Maybe not before either.
What does get me up everyday, makes me feel like a useful member of society and makes my heart sing is being a wife and a Mum and definitely being an artist.
So why do I let it my degree define me? Why do I feel not as worthy in other peoples eyes to be a wife, a Mum, an artist? That being an accountant is more important?
Having a degree is like having the proof that I have the right skills do the job. I have the skills but not the enjoyment or fulfilment.
I have no certified proof that I have the skills to be a wife or a Mum. Nor do I have a degree in visual arts to prove I have the skill set to call myself an artist. But these 3 things are what make happy, give my life meaning and get me out of bed everyday.
They should be as much if not more part of how I identify me to myself as well as to everyone else.
Getting past this mental block around this is going to take time but I need to do it to move forward and allow my art business to be all it can be.
So much going on and a lake full of excuses for not blogging for so long.
I can blame my new addiction to FanFiction (thank you very much dearest teenage daughter of mine!) for some of it. I think I have read more fiction in the past month than I have in the past 10 yrs! So nice to get back to reading for pleasure and escapism rather than my sole (and soul) focus on Autism , Aspergers and therapies.
Between reading and drawing, I can almost start to glimpse my old self. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I like who I have grown into and the realisation that I am a much stringer person than I ever imagined. But to get back in touch with this part of me is like meeting an old friend. Comfortable straight away and so much to catch up on. Rebuilding connections in my head, heart and soul. Finding some balance in my life that has felt out if kilter for too long.
So heres to finding yourself in such a busy, confusing world that we live in.
…. Now excuse me as I read some more Klaine FanFiction…..
OK, this is really hard post for me. I hope I get through it though I know I will be shedding a few tears in this one.
So, things have been up and down emotionally for a while for way too many reasons but tonight I was sitting here watching a re-run of Glee with my teenage daughter. It is the episode when Kurt’s Dad suddenly has a heart attack. I was sitting here being a tad sarcastic as they showed a very healthy looking actor with lovely pallor hooked up to ICU beepers and commented that he should be bluer like those curtains around the bed.
Then it hit me. I looked over at my fifteen year old girl and realised I was her age when my Dad had his first heart attack. What the??? Was I that young? Seriously, I can hardly remember a time before that ICU trip to Sydney with my big brother and his mate Ballsy driving us both there as Mum and my big sis had flown up already. It was a torturous trip with my bro and I handling it as best we could with really bad jokes, nervous laughter and more bad jokes. The following trips for visits and heart operations were no less stressful but became more routine.
That first time was horrid.
After having a series of heart related issues late last year, the reality of it still never really sunk into my thick skull.
But sitting here watching this episode, my own situation suddenly fell into place. My girl is now the SAME AGE as I was when my world was rocked so suddenly and completely. My boy is even younger. I don’t want them to go through it like I did. Me sticking my head in the sand and not really tackling my health concerns is so damn selfish. I watched my Dad pull through, make drastic changes (except the smokes… But I have that one beat hands down as I never started).
Memories flooding in galore but the one that struck me most was sitting there in the ward just wanting my Dad to wake up and smile and tell me it is going to be all OK. But I just sat there holding his hand, his cold, clammy hand stuck left right and centre with tubes, machines beeping everywhere.
But I didn’t want to let go, just in case it made a difference, even the tiniest difference. All these years later I can still feel my Dad’s hand in mine. Though Dad recovered from that initial attack and lived many more years to have a few more operations and attacks, I can still recall that moment. And now, 10 years since his passing, looking at my girl and having all these memories flooding in, my biggest wish would be just to be able to hold his hand again. I just want to hold his hand.
Love you Dad.
Just popping by to say HI to everyone here and welcome to all the new likers. I hope you hang around a bit and share a few ideas here too.