It’s Still So Worth It…


I thought I knew what I would write when I finally decided to dust the old blog off and get back to it-something profound, wise and quote worthy that would relaunch the blog and encompass all things lovely and bloggish-insert slide whistle sound ending with a plop. I couldn’t conjure any bells and whistles (if you don’t count the slide whistle), fan fare or anything particularly profound I just kept having this feeling that it was time.

A year is a long time!  I thought it was interesting when I opened up my wordpress dashboard that it had been almost exactly a year since my last post and my decision to set it aside. I, quite literally, have not looked at my blog for a year. Some rumbling had told me it was time to stop and then suddenly I knew it was time to begin again.  I was only a little resistant but I know that ignoring a prompt like that gets me in trouble sooooo, here I am-back in the proverbial saddle again!

I have done a little housekeeping-chose a new look, something cleaner with more breathing space-cleaned up the ‘stuff’ that was hanging around and lightened things up a bit.  It’s a lot like what is happening in my real life too. I have spent the last year cleaning house-letting go of ‘stuff’-only in this case it is STUFF-all capitals kind of stuff.  I have let go of certain ambitions, cleaned out the superfluous (I like this word for some reason) and set aside all kinds of things, ideas, projects, relationships, physical stuff, objects, assumptions, expectations (ooh, that’s a toughie) and dreams all in an attempt to figure out just what I am suppose to be doing. Shoot, we even sold our house!  So here I sit in a rented, temporary space where all I have that is mine is a ficus (don’t judge, this tree has been in my life 23 years and is a better conversationalist that some people I know!), a pan, one whisk,  a cat, a toaster and my best friend,,,my coffeepot.  I do have clothes but they appear to be all the wrong clothes since warmth took a hiatus and we have been plunged into fall without warning. Note-layering short sleeves still leaves your arms exposed-time to visit the Unit, where life gets stored until one figures it all out.

When I decided to come back I was tempted to hit delete on all that old posts for a totally fresh start but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Good, bad or otherwise this is part of it all and I decided to leave it as a reminder.  The harder part is what comes next.  I don’t think I will change how I have done things-I still love to talk about art, life and everything in between-mostly because the in between is rich and fertile and is usually where some really great stuff happens.  I probably won’t talk too much about art-only once in awhile as it is becoming a smaller part of who I am. Life, well that covers a lot of territory and without it there isn’t much to write about…right?  So, it is the in between, the humble dash – that little mark where all the activity takes place that makes it all So Worth It that will feed what comes next. That and the ampersand-I love this little guy…

georgia

I have even started to collect them! It is the “graphic abbreviation for the Latin conjunction et(and)”  and this  little symbol use to be the last character in the alphabet & was a slurred version of ‘and, per se and’… AND I love all that it represents-the ‘and’, the what comes next, the what’s ahead, and…

If you are still out there, and assuming (shoot, can’t get rid of them) there is still any interest, join me in going forward-stop by and say hello and let’s see what’s coming!!

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Parting words…


Coming to the end of a semester can leave me feeling like I want to provide a little something extra to send along with my students.  This is only my second semester teaching at KCAD (I still love every second of it!) but I am already spotting trends in attitude and behavior that minimize my students success and maximize their frustration.  So often, they are their own worst critics, inhibitors and stumbling blocks!  And, this isn’t limited to my students!

Here is what I will be sharing with them as we go our separate ways…

Everyone defines success in different ways. That doesn’t mean that one way is better than another, just different.  The way you define success and how you go about getting there is entirely up to you.  Make the choice-because it is a choice every single day-to be the best at what you do-whether a visual artist or a designer. Don’t fall victim to the voices that tell you you are ‘less than’ anything. Only you can do what you do and it is ONLY YOU that can make it amazing. DO THAT. Period.
Figure out what works for you. Do you want to teach? Then work towards that. Do you want to find that dream job? Then do the hard work to get there. Do you want to ____________________? You fill in the blank and then take the steps to get there.  You will get out of life exactly what you put into it-kind of like school. Don’t show up? Don’t do the work? Don’t stick with it? Get hung up on the wrong things?  Don’t  give it all you’ve got? Make excuses instead of progress? Then don’t be surprised when you don’t make the cut, don’t make the grade and don’t get very far.
Remember this though-the path that gets you to where you want to be will not always be the path you think it should be!! Seldom does a career follow a strait line or even a simple arc-it is usually circuitous or up and down, filled with blind corners and unexpected turns. Be open to the possibilities that come from unplanned opportunities.  Make the best of these because, ultimately, they are what make you better along the way.
Make choices that will make you the best at what you do: Take care of yourself. Be healthy. Never stop learning. Never stop caring. Make eye contact. Move forward. Do the work. Do the work. Do the work.  Find good. Be the good. Make a difference. Give. Receive. Work hard. Enjoy. Laugh and Never, EVER, give up.
I will end with the words of e. e. cummings–and one of my favorite quotes-
“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

 

Amen? Amen.