Module four: On Continuation of fears…..
I realised that perhaps two of my biggest “fears” are this:
The first is two-pointed:
- That my children will take everything from me. Everything that I can be, that I am, that I want to be
- That I’ll have to let my children go… not be the fullest most mother to them… in order to be the fullest most artist that I want to be.
That I can’t have both. How can I have both? Simultaneously. How can one be in solitude to find oneself, while at exactly the same time be connected & torn & pulled & demanded from all corners. It physically mentally emotionally spiritually can’t happen.
- That my friends, the artist creatives who I admire and respect, don’t think of me as an ‘artist’. That to them I’m just someone who weaves, or dabbles in plant dyes and fabric, or does crochet. And takes pretty photos for Instagram. That that’s all they see in me, all they want to see. All they’ll ever see.
I’ve been pondering these this past year. Deeply. Blah probably deeper than I should have. But it’s good and necessary to have a big ponder at times, isn’t it?
Here’s the thoughts I’ve come to. I won’t call them conclusions. Because truth is there’s no final “this is the right and only and best answer”. But for now, this is a good answer, solution… way to keep moving forward and push past the ponder.
Here’s my “solutions” – as best as they are:
- yes.. my kids will take everything, but only if I let them. Knowing that one day this immediacy will be over helps. Talking myself verbally through it helps. Counting down years (without rushing those years away). Telling myself 5 years more isn’t too much to wait.
- I will only be as bad a mother as I tell myself I am. Guilt should play no part in my mothering. I do not like it, never have. I don’t believe we should all be laying guilt on mothers (or fathers) who want / need to find the time and space and energy to BE THEMSELVES outside of who they are as parenting. So… firstly, throw away the guilt. Secondly… plan and prepare time for myself and time for children. Put away my work and be fully unequivocally with my children when I’m with them :
- Time in the garden always helps. Being outside. Putting away my phone, computer, crochet, stitching… and holding their hands. If I’m holding their hands and hugging them deeply then I’m being a good mother.
- Setting boundaries of my time and space. And letting them know – at least the bigger ones. My desk is my desk. And when I’m weaving or on the computer or writing.. that’s my time and space. I’m seriously thinking of putting a lock on the door, but truth is I always have the door wide open and I’d never want to lock my kids out. But wouldn’t it be nice if they knocked occasionally!
Now the other fear, battle, challenge….. When your friends, family, work colleagues, others in your life don’t value your creative practice, or appreciate how important it is for you. This is a giant one, a big thing for many many people.
I know an artist, who is an illustrator and has had more than 20-30 (I don’t know the total number) books professionally published, earns a full-time income from her art work and has a loyal dedicated loving fan/tribe. And her mum still (even though this person is over 40) asks her when she’s going to stop that little drawing hobby and get a real job.
So, you can see this is a big one. And hard to work around. Especially when loved ones don’t respect you. I feel like, in that instance, often it’s a fear from them. Of you being a starving artist. And wanting you to have a back-up plan. It might not be so much about them realising you being good or not good, but more about what level of success means to them. Regardless of what success means to you.
Sometimes it's hard when the creative friends or your family who you respect, and want to be respected by, don't acknowledge your creative self in the way you hoped.
Here’s what I’m working on around these issues that keep coming up in my mind:
- Most importantly. Just getting on with my work. Just doing the work. Doing the work. In the end the work will speak for itself to the right people.
- Realising that the right people might not be the people that I want it to be. But that the right people will find, love, appreciate and respect me. If I stay true to me, to myself, to who I want to be, to who I am as an artist.
- Wondering if maybe a lot of it is my own thoughts imposed on them. If I’m imagining them thinking or feeling that way. If I’m taking every tiny word or action and over-thinking it (cause, golly…. I don’t ever over-think things now do I!!!).
Fears will always be part of our life. It's human nature, from our ancestry. I read once, somewhere I forget where now (an actual book, not online), that humans are prone to negativity first and foremost rather than being positive. Something to do with all that cave living and being in a constant state of flight or fight mode.
For me, it's about learning to work through it and not allow it to control me. I always think, and tell my kids (and myself), what would be the worst outcome of this situation if the worst was to happen. Mostly the worst possible outcome isn't that bad. Or if it is bad, know that humans are resilient, we overcome SO SO SO much in our world, our lives, our days.
For me, the worst possible anything has already happened (my mother dying), and I found that from that horrible troubling life-altering moment / event, I rose and become something new. Afresh. So .... my personal journal has shown that the worst possible thing brought personal growth, emotional resilience, and creative unfurling.