Why am I doing this?
Last week I touched up a bit on how I ended up not going to art school. So here I am, a stay-at-home-mom living in a nice house in a nice town with a hard-working husband and two very small yet healthy children. I'm truly grateful for it all, for my family, for the ability to choose to stay home with them. What more could I ask for? Why am I blogging and working hard on my art and putting myself out there?
Because there's so much more to me (to any human being, man or woman), than being a parent, than my career, than my relationship with my spouse, than my home. I am more than the sum of all these things. And who knows, maybe to some there is a sense of fulfillment in just raising a family, and that's fine. For me? I was a complete individual before becoming wife and then mom, and that's something I haven't forgotten since becoming those things. They're just additional aspects of my being. I've always been an artist. I think any artist would say that about him/herself. It's not something you choose. You get better at your work with practice, but the mentality, the perspective on life, the way of seeing the world... that's always been there. Because I want to be able to say that I tried, and not grow old and wonder "what if?"
Shani Rhys James also said, when asked why she paints "To make sense of the world. It's just something I do, really. I've done it so long now I can't remember why I did it in the first place. It's just my form of expression, you know?" She's also a married woman and mother of two kids, but she recognized that it's not all that she was. For me, like her, I have my art. Other moms have their hobbies, their interests, things that help separate them from their jobs and positions in the family. I also find it interesting how, before becoming a mom, you don't hear women introduce themselves as "Hi, my name is Sally and I am a wife." Or daughter. Or sister. But that's how some choose to define themselves once they've brought another life into this world. I think that all that other stuff that we did before having kids is what ultimately helps keep us sane while we're in the trenches of parenthood, and what ultimately saves us from suffering when we become empty nesters (and by "other stuff" I don't mean bar hopping/partying). It keeps our spouses guessing at what else we have up our sleeves. It gives us something else to talk about. It gives us purpose. A sense of fulfillment.
Let's pretend we're going around the room and introducing ourselves. Who are you? If you're a parent, what were you before you became a parent? What are your interests? How do you introduce yourself to others? What is your purpose? What's alive in you?