My entire life, my biggest fan has always been my mother. And why would anyone question that?
“Oh honey, that’s beautiful!!”
“Mom. It’s a bowl of fruit that looks like I drew it in a moving vehicle…”
“It is the prettiest mobile fruit bowl I have ever seen! And it’s going on the fridge with the rest of them!”
She loves her kids. That’s her thing.
But we kind of take our mom’s support for granted. Well, excuse me, I take my mom’s support for granted. Moms are supposed to tell you everything you do is magic and rainbows. But my reaction was always the same thing.
“….Sure thing mom….I’m going to go read.”
I retreat. I avoid. I write it off as her being a mom. And I generally react the same way when anyone else offers up a compliment. In doing so, I haven’t challenged myself for years. That little tidbit hadn’t bothered me up until lately, when I realized it wasn’t just my mom being my mom.
I’m pretty damn cool.
Now wait a minute. Hold your “wow, that was a toolbag thing to say” until the end. Thanks.
I’m not being cocky. And I’m really not even being confident.
I’m just opening my eyes.
Instead of challenging my skill on a sketch pad, or spending a little more time practicing vocally, I mastered the art of suppressing…whatever I wanted. I was really good at blending in and simply existing. In school I always thought the artsy kids were the coolest. In theater I never wanted to be center stage, I just wanted to be a part of it all. I assumed I wasn’t good enough and I was perfectly ok reading the line of a no name choir girl. I was even more ecstatic to be in charge of makeup and costume, watching the cool artsy ones from behind the scenes.
I never stopped to think why I got along with all of them so well.
Uh. HELLO! Because you ARE one of the artsy kids!!
Yeah yeah I get that now!! Stop yelling at me. I’ve opened up a lot in the last year, I’ve paid a lot more attention to my heart. And it’s been screaming at me to just be me for a long time now. So. I write fiction, that some people actually enjoy reading. I paint, and numerous people actually have these paintings on their wall. Displayed**. I sing…by myself…on a stage. Because other people have actually requested me to do so. And I’m actually a lot better at it now than no name choir girl from high school.
My point here is not to be all “ohmygosh, I was like, this boring caterpillar in my youth. But I’ve totally grown into this, like, beautiful butterfly.” I’m not “tooting my own horn.” My point is to remind you how precious time is. I threw away time I could have spent working towards a career I would actually enjoy. Instead, I was in an office that didn’t deserve the time and energy I was putting into it. I stressed myself out to the max over things that didn’t even matter to the people I worked for. I took being treated like the scum of the earth, day in and day out, as if it were just another day in the office. Because, well it was.
And I was expendable. Don’t be expendable. You’re worth so much more than that!
I woke up last week from a dull existence and decided enough was enough. I’m not going to hide anymore. The only decision I’ve ever made for myself was to marry my husband. Every other decision I’ve made was in some regard to another human being, and not focused on what I needed or what I wanted. Well I want a degree. I want more wrinkles on my brain. I want time with my husband. I don’t need to be cussed out by people who act like their 5 year old when they’re told no. I don’t need to come home with chest pains because I’ve stressed myself out to the point that it’s become a health hazard. And I don’t need to do all of this for a career that doesn’t make my heart happy in the first place. So I made a decision for me and put in my notice.
My time is worthy of more than merely existing. My time is worth adventure and passion. I’m not expendable. I’m pretty damn cool.
And you are, too! So if you’re reading this and you know in your heart of hearts that you aren’t where you want to be, then stop! Don’t waste another minute being in a place that you know, deep down in your soul, you don’t belong. Change where you are, with what you have. No excuses. The only thing stopping you from being where you want and doing what you’re meant for, is you!
We’re only given a short amount of time. And when I’m gone I don’t want people standing around weeping, saying that it just wasn’t enough. I want people to know I did exactly what I was meant to do in the time I was given. I want my life to mean something, no matter how cliche that sounds.
Be strange! Be passionate! Be loud! Be bold!
Be you. XOXO ❤
**I feel the need to make a disclaimer here that no, these paintings do not consist of bowls of fruit.