The art of the unknown
This time last year I joined a midlife women’s group in search of some answers to my dissatisfaction with life. I was sure that other women my age were struggling too, so I was surprised to find the group only had about 8 women in it. Out of the 8, I made a connection with just 2 of them. Were there really only 3 women in my area that were confused and searching for something more? Where was everybody? I was at a loss of how to reach out and connect. So, I thought if I put my feelings out in a blog maybe I would find the connection and support I was in search of. But, I had no idea how to start a blog. So, I watched YouTube Videos, listened to Podcasts, took classes and read books about blogging. I felt scattered and overwhelmed as I tried to filter through all the new information. I realized the only way I was going to get going was just to do it. So, I decided that no matter how unprepared and confused I felt I was going to to start a blog on January 1st. I got a Go Daddy account and created a website. I called it Womanwhy because I knew I had more questions than answers. I needed to put pictures on my website so I bought a camera and I bought some small Buddha statues and took pictures of the Buddhas’ out in nature. I was very proud of these pictures and started posting them on Instagram as a way to attract women to read my blog. I was completely winging it, and some days I felt like throwing in the towel as this endeavor was time consuming and tiring. But instead of giving up I decided to make a deeper commitment to myself by writing a blog post at least once a week and posting a picture to Instagram at least once a day. It didn’t matter what I wrote about, or what picture I posted just as long as I did it. I felt like I needed physical evidence that I was getting somewhere, and when I looked at my blog posts and my Instagram pictures reflected back to me I felt my intent, and it gave me the momentum to continue. As women started to comment and contact me on my blog I felt a rush of gratitude. It felt good to know that there were other women like me, and they also expressed their gratitude that I was stating what they were feeling. I started to not feel so alone. The encouragement I received from other women as they read my story gave me strength and made me not so afraid to speak my truth out loud, not only on my blog, but in life. But for some reason when things start to go well for me my apathy kicks in and I start to doubt everything which is exactly what started to happen. Out of nowhere I felt like giving up on my blog and deleting my Instagram account. I was suddenly bored and listless and had no motivation to continue. But I had made the commitment to do a weekly blog post and the deadline was fast approaching. What could I write about? I was thinking about this when I was parking my car in our garage. I noticed my paintings that I did over 15 years ago that were hanging on the walls. I felt like I was seeing them again for the first time and noticing how colorful and magical they were. I had painted these at a previous time in my life when I had been searching for more. But my search and my painting had stopped as my day filled up with things I thought were a higher priority and better use of my time. I didn’t keep the commitment to myself back then to continue, but I was going to keep it now. In order to keep it I needed something to write about and I decided I could write about drawing again after a long absence. So, I went to the art store and bought supplies, and came home and drew a picture of a woman. She looked at me from the sketch book with impatience, almost saying, ‘What took you so long?’ I felt like crying. I had completely forgotten that I used to spend hours as a teenager drawing magical women. I forgot that I loved it so much that I wanted to be a fashion designer and even toured a fashion college in high school. I had forgotten this whole side of me. How did that happen? I gave up on myself as I decided that other things and people were more important than me. No wonder I was so dissatisfied. But after that first drawing I was hooked again. I started spending the whole weekend sitting at my kitchen table, listening to music, drinking tea, lost in my world of pencils, colorful pens and magical women. Now my heart is filled with a new passion as I feel a love for every single woman that I draw. I also feel sad that if I hadn’t found this side of me again these women wouldn’t exist. And they need to exist! They need to be out in the world showing a positive female image and energy. It is my passion but I have decided that it is also important. So, what started out as a dissatisfaction with a life, a need to connect, and a longing for something more has led me to create beauty. I used to feel a vague sense of shame in focussing on my own needs instead of letting others dictate how I should my spend my time. Thoughts of me being alone in a house with 15 cats would flash across my mind. That could be me if I become too self involved and not willing to give of myself. It was scary, and it still is scary as I follow a path that is not of my choice but of my heart, and I don’t know the final destination.