Once upon a time, there was a young girl who felt overwhelmed by the world around her. There seemed to be many things she felt but couldn’t explain. There were people that said things and yet did something entirely different. She felt safer when no one noticed her especially if she was drawing, colouring or painting. She had two brothers that were good at art and it felt like they were always encouraged. While she was told that she was a dreamer and had her head in the clouds as if that was a bad thing.
In some ways though, what may have seemed like criticism probably helped her to retreat inside more readily. Her inner landscapes could be anything she imagined, and they were always a place of wonder where she was safe to be herself. She loved to read, and her imagination took her on many journeys that were so exciting.
Sadly one of her other gifts was that she was very intuitive and she knew what other people expected of her. She did not like discord or conflict and so she began to mould herself into what was needed to bring harmony. On the few times that she struggled with that and tried to stand up for what she was feeling or thinking she quickly realized how dangerous that could be. So she became a chameleon. She learned to pay attention to her surroundings and discover ways to make things run smoothly, including how to solve problems quickly and to find easier solutions for what others were expecting, demanding or asking for.
Adulting and the Corporate World
This became a skill that she continued to develop all of her life which is how she so often found herself in leadership roles and jobs. Ones that really were all about helping others get the results they wanted and not really focused on what brought her joy. The part of those jobs that she loved was when she was able to help others. This was especially true if someone was struggling and feeling badly about their personal skills and abilities. It is not hard to see how this led to her getting her MBTI certification as a facilitator and became a Training and Development Professional.
Her Creative Escape
Her artwork was something that she only did part-time but was a big part of what helped her to stay in the corporate jungle for so long. Creating art allowed her to deal with the need to put on a mask at work for 80% of the time when all she really wanted to do was help others. It helped her when she had to deal with:
- the angriest of customers, who took their anger out on her personally even though she wasn’t supposed to take it personally;
- the frustration of people in the workplace who were mean and thought nothing of throwing someone under the bus to help promote themselves;
- the politics of human resources when the very title of the department was anything but humane;
- pretending that the corporate visions and missions she was supposed to train people to follow were just words that falsely represented what the words meant when really, it is was about the money they wanted to make;
- the challenges of some major invisible disabilities that began to increase over time, as the chronic pain escalated, her depression would take huge swings into pits of darkness, and her migraines would become debilitating.
Try as she might though, the other 20% of the time, her own authentic self, could not help from bursting forward for all to see. She held on to creating artwork like a lifeline. It was her greatest tool in connecting with herself, her real passions and her hopes and dreams.
The Great Escape
Until she just couldn’t pretend anymore and in 2012 she took a huge leap of faith and left the corporate world, her full-time role as a Manager in Training and Development and quit to become self-employed. Fast forward to today and she feels she is finally home. She is me and the beginning of this website and blog brings one of those dreams to life. I have started and stopped many business projects and creative ventures in the last 6 years. All of which I believe has led me here.
Over the years – well decades, I have continued with my artwork and shared it on some online digital art communities. Community and support is a huge part of feeling inspired to continue to tap into your creative self. I’ve sold some art prints, self-published a tarot deck with my artwork, been published in some local magazines with my art and given talks at Spirit and Wellness Fairs and Tarot Events. My art was always the focus and a way for me to share ways that it can make a difference.
Today I begin again and trust me ~ New Beginnings~ are always exciting. I want to build a site to share my artwork and even more importantly, help others begin to believe that they can be creative too. I know that in a world that seems to recognize and reward material achievements, it is still a richer experience if those who feel drawn to the arts are encouraged to follow their passions and share them with the world. I want others to know that the first step towards being an artist is to create art. I am going to share some of my most humble of beginnings as an artist, and share ways to get to a place that you enjoy creating and can let go of that inner critic that may try to stop you. I have so many plans for ways my earlier art might help those who are just starting out. I want to invite you to join me here. To share your thoughts, your challenges, what you need most to take those steps to being creative.
So today my affirmation is this: