September 21, 2012

mama + artist + dreamer: defined

i'm a little more behind on the e-course than i realized. i seriously lost an entire day this week and i don't know where it went but i was already run-down and have been putting off a cold that keeps trying to invade my immune system. i slept on the couch a couple of nights this week and have gotten very little sleep.

however, i've got a polished academic career and there were many a semester that i was sick or going through emotional turmoil at the start of classes so i'm not stressing. this whole experience of creating a community and meeting new people and being able to go at my own pace is totally awesome and the amount of clearing and growth i underwent on the very first day was of course going to have it's own backlash. a reminder to slow down, always slow down. i tell myself i need tea and a bath and those things that are so possible also seem so far away. like, i could take a bath in the kids' bathroom because i don't want to clean my tub first but then really how relaxing would a bath be when my kids would surely need my attention and at least the three year old would start whining and then yelling about something or the other.

the very thought becomes an exhausting fantasy.

i do, at least, shower and almost always i hear perry farrell singing this: standing in the shower...thinking because that's what i do. i think in the shower a lot and then sometimes i try to write down what i was thinking about before i forget but i usually i forget first.

yesterday, though, i didn't. yesterday i seemed to have this revelatory experience where what i've been trying to say and how i've been trying to define myself came together a bit more.

the whole awesomama thing came from the awesomuffin thing and that silly little belief that i could remain anonymous while also putting myself out there without using my name. i didn't know how to tie-in anything related to being an actual awesome mama, though, so the little description that used to be on my blog banner and on some moo cards i'd made said: mama. artist. awesome. because being a mama + an artist is kind of awesome, but everywhere else (like tumblr, twitter, facebook...) there was some mention of being a dreamer. i touched on this a bit in this post.

so last week i changed the blog banner description to read: mama. artist. dreamer.

i had to sit with it and ponder a while because i wasn't actually fond of the string of those three words together until yesterday when it all made sense.

yes, i am a mama, artist, and dreamer. in that order.

i have been a mama for half of my life, at this point. i was a mother before i was considered a legal adult. i wasn't living my dream or listening to my heart's whispers all along but i was trying to make it in the world without being another teen-mom statistic so i did what i could and went to college in what would have been my senior year of highschool for a degree i didn't want because it would make my parents proud and i still valued that false sense of worth above my own.

i am an artist and while i've always been artistic, it was only in the last year that i could call myself an artist without feeling like a complete phony. and even still, it's sometimes weird. the other day i was buying some random tubes of paint simply because i liked the colors, some 12 x 12 canvases, and new brushes which i was the most excited about. the cashier at michael's asked me what i was painting as if i had some sort of plan. i was sort of caught off-guard and had no idea what to say but had to check myself when a flash of minor judgment swept through, like, she's probably used to people coming in with a certain color scheme and shopping list because they saw something on pinterest they want to make. i stopped myself before answering but really didn't know what to say and the words "i'm an artist" just didn't seem adequate. instead i said, "nothing, in particular, it's just what i do." i could see the look on her face turn from interest to a near eye-roll, like, "heh, yeah right." and it totally didn't help when my six year old said, "yeah, she does art." but afterwards it didn't matter. i didn't question the validity of everything i've been doing to get to this point. i am an artist into a little bit of everything. i illustrate, i paint, i knit and i don't have to explain it to everyone, all of the time.

i am also a dreamer. always. even during the most pessimistic of all my years on earth, it was obviously a hope and a dream so deeply woven within my heart that allowed me to crawl out of bed after spending as much time there as i could during one six month period or another. when my oldest was about eight years old i came across a quote that's been in one of my email signatures ever since.

i think i am finally up to the challenge and know that i cannot teach them how to follow their dreams anymore than i could teach anyone else, but by following mine i am showing my children that theirs are also worth following.

if you could pick three words to describe yourself, right now, even if you don't know how to expand on them, what would they be?


  1. This is a beautiful post. I really loved reading this. You're right: you don't have to explain yourself to anyone.

    Whatever you decide to pain with your newly purchased canvases and paints (FUN!), I hope you love it. :)

  2. I just love that quote! Right up my alley. And you hit the nail on the head when you said that you can't teach them how to follow their dreams. They will see what their parents do and know it can be done!

    1. it's funny how i used to try to proclaim up and down the wall that the only way to teach was to lead by example but it was still some many, many years later that i could be the example and now i'm accepting that the example doesn't have to be perfect ;)

  3. So beautiful. Your story brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. You write so well. Thank you for sharing. I also loved the quote and agree that being an example to you children is a beautiful gift. So glad I found your blog via flying lessons. xx Joanne Freeman

    1. thank you for your kind words, joanne, and for being here.

  4. LOVE this. Loved discovering your blog through Flying Lessons. I have been reading many, but yours is the first I have commented on. I see so much of myself in your story. Thanks for your words...


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