Thanks everybody for all the kind comments from last post. It was really interesting to me to see how many of you understood exactly where I was coming from. Sometimes, it's just nice to know we're not alone, isn't it? <3
For today, I've got a page...actually two pages...to share with you from my Journal 52 art journal (you can read more about J52 HERE) The prompt for this past week was "What did you want to be when you were growing up/what is your dream job?"
I had a hard time with this prompt...I actually had to ask my mom if she could remember what I said I wanted to be!
I've talked before about the fact that I don't really remember a lot of my childhood. The funny thing is that I remember odd little things...tiny details...like smells and sounds of specific things. But for the most part, huge chunks of it don't exist in my memory. If my family starts talking about something that happened, I can remember more.
I grew up with a very not-nice father. I think our brains make us forget things we can't handle, and I think that's why I don't have a lot of memories of being a kid. So when I read the prompt (before I asked my mom if she could remember) "What did you want to be when you grew up?", I could only think of one thing:
|"I think I just wanted to be free."|
I remember VERY specifically wishing that I could be free. To be free from my dad's ugliness...to be free from hypocrisy that I saw, even at an early age...to feel free to be a kid and not be afraid of what was going to happen to me if I was 'bad'. My dad left when I was 16, and I felt very lucky when that happened. He died a few years ago, and I'm lucky enough, most days, not to hate him anymore, but only pity him.
Freedom is a funny thing, because I don't know that we are ever truly free. Not often, but sometimes, things my dad said to me when I was little pop into my brain.
There were a lot of things that he said that don't bother me anymore. Like being called stupid. I'm not stupid...I'm actually pretty smart! It doesn't bother me, because I have proof that he was wrong. I'm at least smart enough to get myself through life, and who needs to be smarter than that?
But there are other things that I can't seem to shake. The worst one for me is "No one will ever love you." And I know that it's not true. My brain knows that there are a lot of people out there that love me and care about me. But feeling it, believing it...that's tricky. Because love is not always a constant thing...once it's there, it can be taken away. And we can fool ourselves into it and out of it. And love isn't necessarily reciprocated, sometimes it's one-sided. And we use the same word for loving food as we do for loving people and we throw around the word like it isn't such a precious thing as it is. And so love is scary, but we all want it anyway. We want it so bad it hurts. And I don't think I'm the only one who feels like that. I think in the back of a lot of people's minds, there is a tiny mean voice (or sometimes a big booming one) that says 'What if you are just unlovable?' or 'What if it's a lie?' or 'What if no one loves you ever again?'
I work really hard to squish that lie. I remind myself that it's a fact that my father was a lying jerk. I remind myself that even when I don't feel loved, there are people out there just wishing they could make me feel it...even it I'm having a hard time seeing them. I remind myself that, very importantly...maybe even most importantly, I love myself. Therefore, at the very least, one person loves me. And I remind myself that my family loves me...the ones who are my family by blood and my artsy family online too. And then that mean voice that sounds like my dad shuts the hell up. As it should.
And so that was my first page...but then I thought, 'Self, you need to have a happy page...you are depressing the crap out of everyone.' So I texted my mom and asked her if she could remember what it was I dreamed of being when I grew up...
And mom said that she seemed to recall that I wanted to be a teacher or a writer. I have absolutely NO recollection of wanting to be a teacher...Mom said I was really young when I wanted to be a teacher.
But I did remember wanting to be a writer. That was actually a dream of mine for a long time...I can't believe I didn't think of it! Books were a big escape for me as a kid. Mom would have to force me to go outside and play, and even then she'd practically have to frisk me to see if I was hiding a book! I had a good imagination, and I remember reading things and them being so real to me. I think that I wanted to be a writer so that I would be able to make up my own stories to live in...
|"When I grow up, I want to be a writer." - Amy|
I used the picture above as a reference, and I'm a little disappointed in the way it turned out. Actually it was pretty good as a line drawing, but then I started coloring it in and I should have just left it alone... On the positive side, I do like that I used my (non-dominant) left hand to do the writing on the page...it looks like a little kid wrote it, which is what I wanted.
Thanks to the internet and the blog, I get to be a writer now. In a small way, I get to live my dream...even if it doesn't pay any bills. :) I do get very excited when people comment that they like or relate to things I've written here, or when someone compliments something I've said or written in some way. I started the blog as a way to share my art and to document my progress with that...but somewhere along the way, I started blabbing away and couldn't stop. These days, a post doesn't feel finished to me until I've given you the story behind the art! Maybe if my life were more interesting, I could have sold the copyrights by now! :)
So that's what I've got for today...I wanted to be free and I wanted to be a writer (and that, clearly, I was an adorable child...hehehe). What did you want to be when you grew up? What about now? Has your dream job stayed the same, or do you have a different idea of what you want as an adult? (Mine would be being independently wealthy and not having to have a day job...then I'd just make art and write about it all day long!)