I have always loved to paint, draw, write, plan, cook, sing, take photographs, craft, create, act... Okay, some of these weren't always obvious but they were always there waiting for the opportunity to awaken them.
Like most with a creative personality, I have also always been quite critical of my work. I produce something I am not pleased with and as a result feel like I wasted time. Then I no longer put the time in. Then I don't improve. Then I like my work less. Ugh. Crumpled paper. Deleted text. Erased video. A self-depreciating cycle that ends up stifling the God inspired part of me that needs to grow. A true artist knows that perseverance will get the results. With undaunted determination I could be whatever I wanted to be (...eventually). I keep forgetting that though.
Now my life revolves around my inquisitive toddler. Discovering, imagining, and inventing are in her genes. By the time her mom started school she was writing her own songs. Her resourceful dad is a MacGyver. My girl has a large number of musical and artistic relatives.
Unfortunately, there is a pattern. The grandma who didn't sing for so long. The uncle who doesn't believe his sketches are amazing and therefore stopped drawing. The grandfather who doesn't believe in himself. The sister too afraid of making a mistake... The family is bursting with talent waiting to be expressed. Waiting to be discovered. Waiting to flourish. Waiting, waiting, waiting...
It is a given-- she will be creative. So I want to encourage her to enjoy it. Experiment with it. Embrace it. She needs to see me embrace it.
So here I am. Writing again. Delighting in choir. Getting back to painting. Every year I paint a street banner. This year for the healthy living theme I painted a picture of my niece climbing over a log. Maybe it's my new goal of portraying a positive self image. Maybe it's the satisfaction of writing again spilling into other creative venues. But for once I actually LIKED my painting. Perhaps that is just what I needed to keep going.
Fingerprinting, mud pies, cutting and pasting... here we come.