Can I find the ‘old’ me?
Tonight I picked up a paint brush for the first time in years. It was actually a little hard for me to do. I used to paint, I used to paint a lot. I went to University for Studio Art and took several painting classes, and did it a lot on my own time for years afterwards. I went to teachers college to become an Art Teacher and still dream of becoming one, sometime in the future. For years, for as long as I can remember, I was known as an ‘artsy’ person. I took every Art Class I could in high school, I never left home without my sketch pad, and would walk around with paint, or charcoal or clay on my hands, clothes and very often my face. Art was my life, my world, I would eat, sleep and breath any type of visual art. I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved it, and I felt safe with it. I loved it so much that I dreamed that it would be my career, that I would teach others all that I knew about it. But for the last 8 years I have been teaching Core French at an elementary level, which is clearly very far from being an Art teacher. I have struggled with this “loss” for some time now, and constantly try to find a way to become what I have always wanted to be.
But tonight a very dear friend of mine came over to “play with paint” as our children played in the other room. We even ordered pizza so we could just play and have fun with paint and not worry about cooking dinner. I was nervous, I felt like I have lost that part of me and I wasn’t sure how to get her back. I feel that with every passing day that I’m not being artistic, that I am not doing what I love, that I am losing a part of me that I so long to have back. Over the years of too busy, or tired, or simply a lack of motivation my artistic side of me has been slipping away. And up to now, slipping so far away I’m not sure if I’ll get her back.
Every now and then I will pick up my sketch book and be immersed in my drawing, or do I little photography, and even some crocheting or a DIY around the house. But for some reason, when I went to make my first brush strokes on my blank canvas tonight, with my daughter on my lap, a friend by my side, and laughter in the air, I got nervous. I’m not sure why I was nervous, or about what exactly,but I think that because it has been so long since I have done any art, since I have created anything, that artist part of me, the part that used to consume me, will be gone forever. I felt like I had lost who I was, and who I wanted to be. I am no longer the artist, but now a French teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend.
I painted a painting which turned out awful, and I can’t wait to start fresh…but that might be the best feeling I could have hoped for. I feared that I wouldn’t want to continue, that I would be discouraged with whatever was the outcome, that my talents (what little there was) would be gone forever. But thankfully it was the total opposite. I sat back, looked at my god awful painting and decided…crap I gotta try again and make it better or I have to work harder. At least the determination aspect of me hasn’t left. And hopefully with a few more play dates, a little more ‘me time’ and some more practice….that part of me will emerge once again.