I originally posted this on my other blog in 2013. I’ve rediscovered it and am shocked to find that it is more true than ever. I am freed because I no longer hold myself to other’s expectations. I am slowly learning to only compare myself to the person I was yesterday.
At what point in our chosen path do we begin to respond to the word? Someone mentions art and our ears perk up.
A friend of a friend mentions they know an artist. You hope that it is you.
It is dizzying how quickly it becomes a part of who you are. Something you say when someone asks what makes you who you are. It becomes a solidly ingrained fact.
It is what you are and what you do. Is it terrifying or freeing? Certainly it must have the power to be, otherwise it wouldn’t mean so much to you. To me.
At one time I may have felt imprisoned in my titles. “Student” “Smart” “Annoying” “Artistic” “ Energetic” “Girl” “Sister” “Friend” “Enemy”.
Who was I beyond these things? Artist was one in particular that, obviously, has stuck. What it used to mean was fearing the expectations of others. If I tell them I can draw/paint/create what will they expect to see? Will I let them down? With hardly any confidence in my abilities but a desire to do nothing else I lived in a world of conflicting emotions. This was my self-imposed prison that lasted many years.
A few years ago, however, “Artist” began to set me free. It began to take new shape, whispering promises to me. I could be my self because that’s what people expected when I said I was an artist, if I wanted to try something new and unorthodox that was okay too. Suddenly this label meant no boundaries and limitless potential.
Suddenly, ARTIST was becoming more than a title or description, it was part of my name.
But what really pushed me to grow so much in my skills and reignite the fire in me for my chosen path, to really take ARTIST and become it?
We are each of us a student every day. Even though I am teacher and tutor, I am also a student to my subject, a life-long learner. I realized that I could never master anything, but that is okay. I will grow each day and become better than I was the day before.
So yes, when someone says “Artist” I will turn my head and answer “Yes?”.
What’s your title? Who ARE you?
- Destiny West, 2013