Everyone has had struggles. Some more than others. I had a pretty rough childhood which affected my ability to really fulfill my potential in college. Art was always my thing, it allowed expression and I felt comfortable there. In college I was amongst kids who were affluent and supported. I had parents that barely realized I was putting myself through school.
I have many regrets that I did not go on to get my masters, instead I fumbled in a different country, having several part-time jobs at a time and then I completely got away from art and design.
I say I am a jack of all trades and master of none. However, my daughter has gone on to have a blossoming design career. My husband has recently started to encourage me to get back to what I love. This had to be my journey. There was no magic wand, no luxury of time and money. It all felt hard scrabble. I remember as a late teen in college visiting a major design house in London. I felt inferior, disregarded and let me tell you as a women in the US in this current state of affairs, it feels like the same old all over again. Except now I have time and wisdom on my side. My perspective is a little different, I am more vocal, less insecure and I now have time and money on my side.
Today I felt again like that 19-year-old – in an upscale store – wearing crappy clothes (I had just left work) and noticed the salesperson disregarding me over other more appropriate customers. My normal instinct would be to leave, but I have a really important date with my hubby coming up and needing the perfect shirt (yeah that happens sometimes) I decided to just try the damn shirt on.
Once the salesperson realized I was actually serious, full attention. (zero respect for these people and yes I get what it is like to be disregarded).
Anyway, after decades of second guessing oneself, when you finally find you are much more comfortable being your honest self, things are simplified. The only people you are accountable to are yourself, family and friends. It is ok to let go of people in your life if that is what you need to do. It is ok to speak your story, it is brave and will help someone else. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who love and support me, by strong women and encouraging men.
The nice thing about getting older is, it feels like there is less to lose and more to give. It has been a rough year or two. But here is to sweeping a cloud of dust on a mountain top. Thank you Heather for a revealing journey!
“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”
― Gift of the Dreamtime