We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity - Barbara De Angelis - - - To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. - Bernadette Devlin - - - If you play it safe in life, you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore. - Shirley Hufstedler
Several days ago, I started rereading The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin which I always find inspirational. One aspect of the book I especially enjoy are the quotes in the margins. Words work for me. I love the way quotes connect me to another person who, on some level, shares the experience that I am going through. In a strange way, it's both comforting and encouraging.
As a student, I naively believed that all I had to do was pick a path, walk it for life, and end up happily ever after. What I've learned with experience is that life is a journey and along its path are many doors, some of which are open and some of which are closed. And I've learned that the interval between doors opening and doors closing varies. It's not an immediate action that one door closes and another one opens although it is - I believe - an inevitable action. In between is patience and preparation.
In December, a door opened and I went back to work as a hairstylist. Yesterday, a door closed and I am no longer working. The match was perfect in every way but one and that one way turned out to be critical. I couldn't work the hours they'd hired me for and still maintain my top priority of my relationship with my husband and family. Since the other employees were getting increasingly upset about my "preferential treatment" and since I wasn't looking for a career, it seemed best to take the stress off my employer, quit, close that door, and start walking toward whatever is next. For not having been there very long, it was more sad than I expected however, through the experience I learned that I am far more comfortable with myself, confident of my abilities, and outgoing than I once was. This is good.
On Tuesday night, a friend was over for coffee and we talked about the way I create. She sees it as intuitive and flowing, a kind of dance with the developing piece. And she believes she can't dance. I can relate because at one time I felt exactly the same way. I wanted a printed pattern with step-by-step instructions and a guaranteed outcome in the form of a successfully completed project.
My friend thinks I have some kind of magical talent that allows me to see possibilities in mundane, boring items and, again, I can relate to how she feels. While it's true that I can see possibilities, at one time I couldn't and while the skill has improved, I have several friends whose ability far exceeds mine. It's a treat for me to spend time shopping with them so I continue to learn to see potential and possibility. It's a skill that grows with repetition.
The ebb and flow of my dance and the ability to see possibilities and potential is an ability I've been developing for the past twelve years since my Year of Play from September 2004 to September 2005. During that year, I worked every day in the studio and limited myself to what I already had. If there wasn't an immediate answer to the problem, I had to brainstorm until I found one. It was a year of concentrated and tremendous growth that taught me so much and even so, I still have to push myself in that direction. It's so much easier to hop in the car, run to the store, and buy a solution.
Sometimes, the solution is not one I'd have chosen. The 100% cotton that is not actually one hundred percent cotton so the dye doesn't cover completely and the flecks of colour I'm left with are not my favourite colour and the only buttons that will go with are in that colour. And yet they work perfectly. Learning to embrace what I think I don't like has taught me tremendous lessons that extend far outside the studio and into every corner of life.
The purple buttons I preferred didn't work. The yellow buttons that worked were not in a colour I liked. Oh well. The cardigan wanted them. BUT... they didn't have a shank and the fabric is thick. A smaller button makes a shank. It a dance between problem and solution, between design and technique. It's so simple and yet, like all forms of dance, takes practice. The only way to learn how to do the work is by doing the work. Go into the studio. Work. Regularly.
I don't know when the next open door will appear along the path. I do know that while I'm waiting for it I'll be focusing on the priorities that I do know, one of which is preparing for possibilities by continuing to work with my coach - Diane - on the assignments she's given me and on my "dance steps".
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - winning a $40 gift certificate at Fabricland