|(Our family artwork, that is. Not me. Ha!)|
Let's have a moment of honesty: Being a mom means setting aside some of your dreams in life. Yes, those dreams are replaced by wonderful, new experiences that are as (if not more) fulfilling than anything you might have desired out of life, but as someone who only recently decided she even wanted to be a mom, it's been a difficult adjustment for me. I feel like I spent the entirety of my 20s trying to figure out who and what I wanted to be, and then, when at 28 God gave me the (much wanted) surprise of being pregnant, it was as if everything I had been building my life to be suddenly screeched to a halt. I had to prioritize and be realistic; I had to make decisions about how to spend my limited days; I had to figure out how being a mother was going to fit into, or rather how it was going to change, who I was already becoming.
Part of that adjustment has been the career side of things, which I've written about ad nauseum. (I know, I know. You get it--I'm in a weird purgatory between a Working Mom and a Stay at Home Mom, an inner turmoil that will plague me until my kids are grown and gone...blah blah blah. :) ) I've had a tiny side business doing graphic design (mostly invitations), a business which I've largely had to ignore since having Emma Vance. However, it's a calling that pursues me even when I'm not pursuing it, which means not worrying about advertising or partnerships or exposure has given me just enough business to keep my artsy side satisfied...for now. I do, however, find myself wondering at what point my design business will come back into focus. (I'm guessing post-Baby #2, maybe after their first birthday?) So, as I think forward to that time and as I seek outlets to satisfy my artsy angst, I'm realizing that although I may have had to put some of my career-related dreams on hold, I can still pursue things to enrich my craft (and give me some much needed Me Time).
Today, amazingly, was one of those days where the two goals met in a wonderfully orchestrated way that only God knows how to create.
I've crossed paths several times with Erica Loesing of Yes Ma'am through a mutual friend, and I admire that she's pursuing her dreams and managing to be a kick ass mom. (Talk about work-life balance!) When I saw she was offering a course in hand lettering (calligraphy) through CAMP (Creating Art Meaning Purpose), I was ecstatic: Finally an opportunity to do art, learn from a talented lady, be baby-free for a while and satisfy my need to create! (That's a win-win-win situation, friends.) I spent the morning in the city at Sun in My Belly with a room full of other like-minded women, spilling ink, crumpling up used papers, asking poor Erica a million questions and (most importantly) doing art. I've always loved playing around with my handwriting, but I've been very unsuccessful with any sort of formal hand lettering--because, truthfully, there are just so many amazing lettering artists out there that I never could seem to be happy with my own attempts. The greatest thing that I took away from class this morning was the reminder that art is art and that my writing is unique and incomparable to anyone else's. (Plus the fact that concentrating is SO. MUCH. EASIER. without a kid clawing at your skirt. Will wonders never cease!) It may take some practice (okay, a LOT of practice) to get where I want to go, but today was a little spark that reminded me that this particular dream is just on hold, not completely gone. Thank you, God, for that little inspiration. I needed that.
Afterwards, I walked in the door like a proud kindergartner, donning my stack of practice pages for Ryan to see. Even though they weren't anything impressive, they were mine, created from my own mind and by my own hand, and I was excited to show him the work I had done. I was so proud, in fact, that I decided my practice alphabet deserved a coveted place on the refrigerator. As I pinned up my page next to Emma Vance's school paintings, I was encouraged. Honestly, I feel just as proud of her little apple and pumpkin paintings as I do of my work from CAMP, and it was a wonderful reminder to me that we are a family of creatives, Ryan, E.V. and myself, and that in our house, we do art--in all forms. :)